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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09NAIROBI346 2009-02-23 14:42:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Nairobi
Cable title:  

SOMALIA - DOUBLE SUICIDE ATTACK ON AMISOM

Tags:   PGOV PREL EAID SO 
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8575
INFO RUCNSOM/SOMALIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
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RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
					  UNCLAS NAIROBI 000346 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR AF/E AND ACTING A/S CARTER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - DOUBLE SUICIDE ATTACK ON AMISOM

-------
SUMMARY
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1. (SBU) Summary: On February 22 two suicide bombers struck inside
AMISOM's Burundian battalion base at the former Somali National
University (SNU) compound. Eleven Burundian soldiers were killed
and 15 wounded. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack
through spokesman Mukhtar Robow. Though accounts vary, our AU
contacts told us the two attackers were employees of a Somali
contracted to supply food and fuel. They had been working for the
Burundians for nine months, and gained entry to the camp based on
this relationship. The attack casts suspicion on Somali contractors
on AMISOM bases. End Summary.



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Two Bombers Attack
Burundian Contingent


--------------------------





2. (SBU) On February 22 two suicide bombers struck inside the
Burundian AMISOM base at the former SNU compound. Eleven Burundian
soldiers died and between 15 were wounded. Al-Shabaab claimed
responsibility for the attacks. Our AU contacts explained that two
employees of Issa Mohammed Jama, a Somali contract supplier of food
and fuel to the Burundian camp, entered the camp in a vehicle at
approximately 9:00 a.m. Based on their months-long relationship
with the Burundians, the two were apparently admitted without
inspection. They parked the vehicle near a building in which troops
were attending church. The vehicle passenger dismounted and
positioned himself in or near a busy cafeteria in the camp.
Evidently aware of the soldiers' Sunday routine, at approximately
10:00 a.m., as soldiers departed the church service, the vehicle
driver detonated his explosives. Nearly simultaneously the bomber
on foot detonated his explosive vest in the cafeteria. There is
currently no information that contractor Jama knew of the attack.
According to several accounts, insurgents nearby then launched eight
mortars in the direction of the camp. That attack was largely
ineffective, according to our AU contacts.



3. Speaking to the media via telephone moments afterward,
al-Shabaab spokesman Mukhtar Robow "abu-Mansur" revealed many of the
attack's aforementioned details. He named Ahmed Sheikh Don Sidow
Wehliye as the bomber who was on foot, and Mursal Abdinur Mohamed
"Shikshigow" as the vehicle bomber.



--------------------------


Burundian's Lax Security


--------------------------





4. (SBU) Post contacted TFG Police Commissioner Abdi Hassan
"Qeybdiid" and Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Osman "Dagahtu," for comment.
They separately told us that they've long considered Burundian
AMISOM forces as generally more lax in security than the Ugandans,
and that sadly this attack came as no surprise. Qeybdiid commented
that Burundi's two battalions were concentrated in one location and
had insufficient checkpoints and protective measures to prevent
committed attackers from gaining entry to the most densely populated
parts of the camp. Qeybdiid told us that he once asked their
general to spread out his troops. Qeybdiid said the Burundians were
open and friendly with locals; this openness may have been used
against them in this case. AU sources separately told us AMISOM is
reconsidering its use of local contractors.



5. (SBU) Comment: Given that three AMISOM troops were killed in
all of 2008, this attack is likely the worst against AMISOM since
its deployment. Our AU contacts said a lack of intelligence
hampered their general situational awareness, and was especially
marked on February 22. AU sources told us the Burundian defense
minister reacted with resolve to the attack, saying they would not
submit to al-Shabaab pressure to withdraw. End Comment.