PM Ghedi insists Mogadishu blast was in his defence

Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi said the bomb explosion, which rocked Mogadishu last Tuesday, killing nine persons and injuring 27 others, was in his defence and that of his delegation of foreign diplomats.
Ghedi told journalists upon return from Mogadishu that his 1,000- armed militia exploded the bomb in his protection and that of other leaders who accompanied him on the weeklong fact-finding trip.
"There were more than 1,000 armed militia with technicals but no single bullet was fired, it was an attack for the protection of myself and other leaders who had been taken to Mogadishu," Ghedi told journalists at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi moments after landing at the busy aviation facility.
The explosion caused fresh fears that the new government was under siege from thousands of militia who are benefiting from the anarchy in Mogadishu, which has had no central authority for the past 15 years.
Ghedi, who was in Mogadishu to broker a deadlock over whether the new government formed in the safety of Nairobi should relocate to Mogadishu or to the more secure town of Johwar, 90km northwest of Mogadishu.
His trip was successful but his plans to visit other volatile towns were affected by the blast.
"My time was cut short by the bomb, but this blast would not affect the government's plan to relocate, I committed myself to relocate by May," he affirmed.
The blast forced Kenyan authorities to evacuate all its top officials and a number of journalists who witnessed the blast at a Mogadishu football stadium, which held its first political rally in several years.
  The Prime Minister however, played down the blast, saying it was a normal explosion such as the one, which takes place everywhere around the world.
   "The explosion was as everywhere in the world, it was not anything like a planned activity, no bullet was fired," Ghedi said.
  Unconfirmed reports indicated the blast might have killed up to 40 persons with several people receiving injuries during the stampede that ensued after the afternoon blast.
However, the PM insisted "my report is official, only nine people were killed, 27 others injured," he asserted.

07 may 2005 16:35:00

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