A bomb explosion has targeted the headquarters of Dahabshiil bank in Mogadishu, ripping through Somalia's leading money transfer agency. The bomb exploded outside the headquarters of the bank on Tuesday, hours after al-Shabab militants ordered the company to cease operations in areas under their control. Police officials said that two people were wounded in the blast, which shattered the doors of the office and littered the area with debris.
"A remote-controlled bomb planted in front of Mogadishu's Dahabshiil bank and money transfer headquarters injured two guards," police captain Nur Hassan said.Earlier, members of al-Shabab militant group reportedly entered Dahabshiil branches in areas of Somalia under their control and demanded their closure, accusing the company of working for aid agencies whose operations they have banned in their territories. Money transfer agencies like Dahabshiil have become increasingly important to Somalia’s fractured economy, which lacks a developed banking sector after 20 years of civil conflict. The weak Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab fighters for the past five years, and is propped up by a strong African Union force from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti. Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia remains among the ones generating the highest number of refugees and internally-displaced persons in the world. MN/AS