Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, November 24th, 2017

Nonstop Bleeding

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Nonstop Bleeding

A truck bomb blast shook Somalia’s Capital Mogadishu on Sunday leaving hundreds of dead and wounded behind. This deadly incident reflects the strength of terrorist group of Al Shabab. The explosion made it the deadliest single attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. However, Al Shabab has yet to claim the responsibility.
Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (HSM) was forced out of the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011 following an AU-led offensive, and left the vital port of Kismayo in September 2012. The AU-led ground offensive has been backed by US air strikes, which led to the killing of the group’s leader Aden Hashi Ayro in 2008 and his successor Ahmed Abdi Godane. Al-Shabaab has been an al-Qaeda affiliate since then. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by a number of nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
In a joint video released in February 2012, former al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane said he “pledged obedience” to al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri. Meanwhile, some of the group’s leaders quarreled with Al-Qaeda over the union, and quickly lost ground. The group has also been suspected of having links with Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram.
Al-Shabaab’s troop strength was estimated at 7,000 to 9,000 militants in 2014. As of 2015, the group has retreated from the major cities, controlling a few rural areas.
Al-Shabab has imposed a strict version of Sharia in areas under its control, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of thieves.
Though Somali Islamists did not originally use suicide bombing tactics, the foreign elements of al-Shabaab have been blamed for several suicide bombings. About the Sunday’s suicide attack, Somalia’s government has blamed the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab group for the attack calling it a “national disaster.”
“They don’t care about the lives of Somali people, mothers, fathers and children,” Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire is cited as saying. “They have targeted the most populated area in Mogadishu, killing only civilians.”
The United States Mission to Somalia condemned the bombings, calling them “cowardly attacks” that “reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.”
The blast occurred two days after the head of the United States Africa Command was in Mogadishu to meet with Somalia’s president, and after the country’s defense minister and army chief resigned for undisclosed reasons.
In spite of the ISIL’s defeat in Iraq and Syria, terrorist groups do seek to intensify their attacks in many parts of the world. ISIL’s defeat is a serious threat to terrorist groups, therefore, they will not only intensify their attacks but also intend to empower themselves through propagating their ideology so as not to be fated to ISIL’s destiny. It is further believed that members of ISIL group will join other militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Somalia etc.
Civilians bear the brunt of militancy in war-torn countries as a result of indiscriminate attacks of terrorist groups who show no mercy to non-combatants, mainly women and children. Many deadly scenarios will happen since terrorist groups are going to do everything in their power to inflict casualties upon nations so as to put pressure on states. The tragedies of suicide bombings and terrorist attacks are really indescribable.
The dogmatic ideologues are unlikely to hold negotiation with states. Take Afghanistan, for example. Although Afghan government, along with its international allies, call warring factions to come to the negotiating table but in return they response with gun. Currently, members of Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) participate in international conferences regarding peace process to bring the Taliban to peace table, the Taliban, however, send trucks of bomb to the country. Saturday night, Afghan police discovered and foiled a truck filled with explosive device. If this attempt was not frustrated, an explosion with the nature of Mogadishu attack would happen in capital Kabul. In short, Afghan government left no stone unturned to hold talks with warring factions, there is still no sign of peace.
When terrorist groups do not tend to lay their arms on the ground, persisting on talks will be proved abortive. The region will have to launch a joint military operation to eradicate terrorists and their whereabouts. If Iraq sought to negotiate with ISIL, there would be no success at all. Since cruelty runs in the blood of radical militants, their blood should be shed to end their harsh practices.
Viewing or simply imagining the burnt and bloody corpses of men, women, and children in Mogadishu and the victims groaning with pain, one’s sense will go numb. It is the end of the worst-case scenario? Of course not. The blood-thirsty militants make no bone about shedding the blood of innocent people. Hence, showing mercy to militants is tantamount to cruelty to victims. They deserve the same what they do to others. Do you not think so?

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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