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TERRORISM

‘Somalia suicide bomber was Norwegian’: Shebab

Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels on Wednesday identified a suicide car bomber who struck a town recently captured by African Union troops as a 60-year-old Somali man who held Norwegian citizenship.

'Somalia suicide bomber was Norwegian': Shebab
Local security hired by international agencies in Mogadishu. Photo: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection
The attack in Buulo Burde in the south of the country on Tuesday targeted a hotel crowded with army officers and was followed by an assault by Shebab gunmen, leaving several dead, officials said.
   
"The attacker of Buulo Burde was a 60-year-old man who came from Norway to fight the enemies of Allah," Shebab military spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab told AFP, naming the attacker as Abdullahi Ahmed Abdulle, a Norwegian national of Somali origin.
 
"He paid the sacrifice in order to be close to Allah by killing his enemies. The event is showing us that there is no age limit for jihad," the spokesman said.
   
The attack is the latest by the Shebab, launched in apparent retaliation for a new offensive to root them out of areas of the war-torn country still
under their control.
   
African Union soldiers, who are fighting the Shebab alongside Somali government troops, captured the small town from the Islamists last week.
   
The UN-backed AU force this month launched a fresh offensive against Shebab bases, with the gunmen largely fleeing ahead of the assault, only to later stage guerrilla attacks. Shebab fighters once controlled most of southern and central Somalia but withdrew from fixed positions in Mogadishu two years ago.
   
Recent Shebab attacks have targeted key areas of government or the security forces, in an apparent bid to discredit claims by the authorities that they are winning the war.

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TERRORISM

Kongsberg attacker killed victims with ‘sharp object’

Norwegian police said Monday that the five victims of last week's attack were killed by a "sharp object" used by the suspect, not a bow and arrows.

The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident.
The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.

“At some point he discarded or lost his bow and arrows,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told reporters.

He said that during the attack on Wednesday the suspect killed “five people with a sharp object both in private addresses and in public spaces”.

Police, who had previously said that the suspect Espen Andersen Brathen was armed with a bow and arrows and two other weapons, did not specify the nature of the sharp weapons, adding that they were still interviewing witnesses.

“Everything points to the victims being selected at random,” Omholt said.

According to the police, more than 10 people were also shot at with arrows at the start of the attack, but none were killed with this weapon.

READ MORE: Norway police query Kongsberg attacker’s Muslim faith

During police questioning, Brathen has confessed to the killings and to wounding three others.

The 37-year-old Danish citizen has announced publicly that he is a convert to Islam and initially police reported that there had been fears of radicalisation.

He is however being kept in a medical facility pending a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Brathen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

“As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” Omholt added.

On Saturday, police announced the identities of the five victims, four women and one man: Andrea Meyer, 52, Hanne Merethe Englund, 56, Liv Berit Borge, 75, Gunnar Erling Sauve, 75 and Gun Marith Madsen, 78.

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