Female Suicide Bomber Kills 10 In Somalia Theater Blast

on April 04 2012 8:43 AM

The heads of Somalia's Olympic committee and national soccer association were killed Wednesday after a female suicide bomber detonated herself during a ceremony at the newly reopened national theater in the capital, Mogadishu.

Olympic committee president Aden Yabarow Wish and Said Mohamed Nur of the Somali Football Federation were among at least 10 people killed in the explosion.

Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali also attended the theater ceremony but was unhurt.

According to the BBC, militants from the Islamist group al Shebab claimed responsibility for the blast. Last August, peackeeping soldiers from the African Union helped push the militants out of Mogadishu.

The bomb reportedly went off during a musical performance. The blast happened as musicians were singing and spectators were clapping for them, Salah Jimale told the Associated Press. Smoke made everything go dark. People screamed and soldiers suddenly started opening fire at the gate.

Several dignitaries had gathered in the theater to mark the first anniversary of the launch of Somalia's national television station.

The International Olympic Committee said it was shocked to hear of the terrorist attack Wednesday.

Both men were engaged in improving the lives of Somalian people through sport and we strongly condemn such an act of barbarism. Our thoughts are with the Somalian sporting community who lost two great leaders and with the families of the victims, the AP cited the IOC statement as saying.

The theater was reopened in March after more than 20 years following Somalia's descent into civil war.

More News from IBT MEDIA