US decries ‘cowardly’ twin bombings in Somalia

Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility for the blasts in the town of Galkayo

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The White House expressed outrage Sunday over twin explosions which claimed the lives of at least 10 people in central Somalia, condemning the attacks as “cowardly.”

“The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Puntland, Somalia,” read a statement from the National Security Council, which advises President Barack Obama.

“Today’s cowardly attacks targeting Puntland security forces, government officials, and civilians are another attempt by terrorists to weaken Somalia ahead of its historic scheduled political transition this autumn toward greater representation,” the statement said.

“We join international expressions of outrage against these brutal terrorist acts,” the White House continued, offering condolences to the loved ones of the victims.

“We will continue to stand by Somalia in its fight against terrorism and extremism and support Somalis in their quest for a peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous future.”

Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility for the blasts in the town of Galkayo, some 700 kilometers (440 miles) northeast of Mogadishu.

The US State Department decried al-Shabaab’s “vicious and persistent attacks” in a separate release, vowing to help “rebuild a more peaceful, inclusive, and secure country for the citizens of Somalia.”

Al-Shabaab carries out regular attacks against government, military and civilian targets using suicide car bombers and gunmen.

An Al-Qaeda aligned group, al-Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in the capital Mogadishu.

It is expected to try and violently disrupt elections due to be held in September and October.

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