Somalian president reassures nation after deadly truck bomb attack

Reuters Mogadishu, Somalia Dec 29, 2019, 11.09 AM(IST)

A Somali woman walks past a wreckage at the scene of a car bomb explosion at a checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somalia December 28, 2019. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The roadside bombing was the deadliest attack to hit Somalia in more than two years, further raising security concerns in the Horn of Africa.

Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo reassured his country on Saturday, that Somalia would not be demoralised after a bomb-laden truck exploded earlier in the day at a busy checkpoint in Mogadishu, killing at least 90 people according to an international organisation working in the country.

"The motive behind such an attack is to terrorise and demoralize the Somalian people and its government. The people and its government will never be demoralized from achieving our development goals and the rebuilding of our country," Farmajo said. 

The roadside bombing was the deadliest attack to hit Somalia in more than two years, further raising security concerns in the Horn of Africa.

Saturday is a working day in the Muslim country and the explosion occurred during the morning rush hour. Rescuers carried bodies past the twisted wreckage of a vehicle and a minibus taxi smeared with blood.

Also watch: Bomb blast at busy Mogadishu checkpoint claim lives of more that 90, dozens injured

Farmajo also urged government authorities and Somalian people to help the victims of the deadly attack. 

"I strongly order government agencies to help people in hospitals who are wounded from the blast and give them whatever support they need. I also ask the Somalian people to help the victims in whatever way they can," he said. 

A report by the international organisation, which did not want to be named, said the death toll was more than 90 and that university students and 17 police officers were among those killed. A Somali MP also tweeted that he had been told the death toll stands at more than 90.

No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast but the city's mayor blamed al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab.

"This terrorist group of Al-Shabab, it seems has been contracted to kill and massacre innocent people and destroy all infrastructure," the President said.