IS claims deadly attack in Somalia's Puntland region

AP News
Posted: May 24, 2017 9:15 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The Islamic State group on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing in Somalia's semiautonomous state of Puntland — said to be the first time the extremist group has claimed an attack in this Horn of Africa nation.

Police said a suicide bomber on Tuesday detonated at a military checkpoint in the commercial hub of Bossaso, killing at least four people.

The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activities, says ISIS claimed the attack through its Amaq News Agency. The monitoring group later said ISIS had issued a formal communique saying seven "enemy troops" had been killed and 10 wounded.

ISIS-linked fighters who have split from the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group are a growing threat in Puntland, in the northern part of the country.

This was the first such suicide bombing in Puntland since 2014, when a bomber targeted the region's police chief.

In April, a roadside bomb in the remote Puntland town of Galgala hit a military convoy and killed at least eight soldiers. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab claimed responsibility for that attack. In February, suspected extremists tried to storm a hotel in Bossaso often frequented by government officials, sparking clashes that killed at least four people and two attackers.