WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Up to 23 people reportedly died in two suicide car bombings targeting government and administrative buildings in Galkayo in Puntland. The al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for the assaults.
"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," White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
"We join international expressions of outrage against these brutal terrorist acts," Price said. "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."
Somalia prepares to elect a parliament in September, followed by a presidential election in October, in an attempt at democratic transition, which has been marred by a series of terrorist attacks in the nation’s capital of Mogadishu.