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UAE medical team arrives in Mogadishu to supervise treatment of bombing victims.

A second medical team from the UAE has landed in Mogadishu to ensure the treatment of 100 Somalis injured in a massive truck bomb on October 14.

Last week, President Sheikh Khalifa said the UAE would cover treatment costs for the victims and ordered the delivery of urgent medical supplies to hospitals in Somalia to help increase their capacities to treat the injured.

The aid was also sent in response to directives from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and with the support of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra and President of Emirates Red Crescent.

Upon its arrival to the capital, the medical team assessed the condition of the injured and a several victims were admitted to Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Mogadishu for urgent medical treatment .

Arrangements are also being made to transfer more serious cases to hospitals in neighbouring Kenya, in co-ordination with the Emirates Red Crescent Office in Mogadishu, the UAE Embassy, and health authorities in Somalia and Kenya.

 

Why The Somalia Attack Is Being Compared To Sept. 11.

It’s been a week since a massive truck bomb blew up in the center of Mogadishu. It killed more than 350 people in what Somalis are describing as their 9/11. NPR’s East Africa correspondent Eyder Peralta has been following this story and joins us now from Mombasa in Kenya.

Eyder, obviously September 11, 2001, changed the United States in a huge way. Is what happened in Somalia truly comparable though?

EYDER PERALTA, BYLINE: I mean, this is the single deadliest attack in the history of Somalia. The government says 358 people are confirmed dead, but another 56 are still missing, so that number is probably going to cross the 400 mark. So just in terms of sheer numbers, the attack has really affected a whole lot of people in the capital. Yesterday, I spoke to Abdi Aynte. He served for a couple of years as a Cabinet minister. And what he says is that this is so big that it calls into question the, quote, “viability of our governance system.” But he says the thing that hurts him the most is the disappointment.

Mogadishu has been on a rebound in the last few years. And the government had really secured the place. And there was new investment, which he thinks that will be spooked. But he says the one good thing to come out of this is that the attack has given Somalis the license to speak out against extremism.

SINGH: Have you seen Somalis protest in the streets in large numbers?

PERALTA: They have. You know, we’ve seen thousands of people in Mogadishu wearing red bandanas, calling for an end to the bloodshed. I’m in Mombasa right now. And it’s just down the coast from Mogadishu, so there’s a big Somali diaspora here. I took a walk through the Somali market, and what I heard was a community that is soul searching. I spoke to Uda Abdi Mahamud, and she says it is time for Somalis to start facing some hard truths. Here’s what she told me. You’ll hear her followed by an interpreter.

UDA ABDI MAHAMUD: (Through interpreter) Each and every government that’s formed in Somalia, Somalis have the tendency of blaming the West, but that’s a lie. The government that has been formed which we had hope with his being interfered by nothing other than the local Somalis who are living in Somalia.

PERALTA: So the essence of what she’s saying is that al-Shabab is a Somali problem that needs to be dealt with by Somalis.

SINGH: Al-Shabab has been widely suspected of being behind this terrible attack. Has there been any more clarity on that?

PERALTA: No, not really, not officially. I mean, the – al-Shabab hasn’t taken responsibility. But I’ve been talking to a lot of people, and they say the same thing, that yes, it is possible that someone else did this. But it’s hard to imagine that any other group has the drive or much less the technical know-how to do something like this. The government has blamed al-Shabab.

An army spokesman told the Associated Press that President Formajo will declare a state of war, and that’s supposed to kick off an offensive to flush out al-Shabab from its strongholds. Basically, they’re trying to deny the Islamist group a place to plan attacks like this. It’s also likely that Somalia will seek deeper involvement from the U.S. and that’s something to watch stateside.

SINGH: That’s NPR’s East Africa correspondent Eyder Peralta joining us from Mombasa in Kenya. Eyder, thank you.

PERALTA: Thank you, Lakshmi.

Roadside bomb kills seven outside Somali capital Mogadishu.

mali capital Mogadishu

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – A roadside bomb killed at least seven people on Sunday – mostly women farmers – in an area outside the Somali capital dominated by Islamist insurgents who have defied public protests to end years of violence, residents and the army said.

A truck bombing in Mogadishu last weekend killed at least 358 people, with 56 people still missing. Almost all of the dead were civilians and the attack triggered angry demonstrations in the capital.

Sunday’s bombing hit a minibus in Daniga village about 40 km (25 miles) to the northwest of Mogadishu.

“We heard a huge crash today and we went to the scene, we saw a ruined minibus and at least seven dead bodies, mostly women. We could not identify some people, they were just pieces of human flesh,” farmer Nur Abdullahi told Reuters by phone.

The area of the bombing is close to areas held by al Shabaab, the al Qaeda-linked insurgents who want to overthrow the weak U.N.-backed government and impose strict Islamic law.

“We are scared,” Abdullahi said “Hundreds of masked militants are everywhere and we anticipate the government will attack here. They also planted mines everywhere and today we pack our clothes to flee.”

An army officer said the death toll might be higher.

“We know the minibus left Afgooye (town) this morning and it was carrying farmers, mostly women,” said Captain Isa Osman of the Somali National Army.

“It was carrying more than 10 people. We cannot get many details because the area is not controlled by government.”

After last Saturday’s attack, the government promised new offensives against the insurgency.

Somalia has been riven by civil war since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator then turned on each other.

Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

Somali government releases about the final figure of the affected people in the last weekend’s truck bombing.

Number of Killed people: 358.
Number of wounded: 228.
Number of missing people: 56
122 of the wounded people were taken to hospitals outside of the country especially Turkey, Kenya and Sudan as they were in critical conditions.
By Mohamed Odowa

US drone strike targets al-Shabab after Somalia attack.

Thousands of anguished Somalis gathered to pray Friday at the site of the country’s deadliest attack, while the U.S. military said it had resumed its fight against extremist group al-Shabab with a drone strike.

“This pain will last for years,” said a sheikh leading the prayers, as long lines of mourners stood in front of flattened or tangled buildings. More than 300 people were killed and nearly 400 wounded in Saturday’s truck bombing in Mogadishu, with scores said to be missing.

The U.S. drone strike occurred Monday about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southwest of the capital, the U.S. Africa Command told The Associated Press. It said it was still assessing the results.

Al-Shabab has been blamed but has not commented on the bombing, which Somali intelligence officials say was meant to target Mogadishu’s heavily fortified international airport. Several countries have embassies there.

The U.S. has stepped up military involvement in the long-fractured Horn of Africa nation since President Donald Trump approved expanded operations against the group early this year. The U.S. has carried out at least 19 drone strikes in Somalia since January, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Earlier this week, a Pentagon spokesman said the United States has about 400 troops in Somalia and “we’re not going to speculate” about sending more.

In April, the U.S. announced it was sending dozens of regular troops to Somalia in the largest such deployment to the country in roughly two decades. The U.S. said it was for logistics training of Somalia’s army and that about 40 troops were taking part.

Weeks later, a U.S. service member was killed during an operation against al-Shabab. He was the first American to die in combat in Somalia since 1993.

 


Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/news/nation-world/world/article179895266.html#storylink=cpy

Somalian president vows revenge against al-Shabaab after deadly blast.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday to show their frustration with repeated attacks by Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab, after a weekend truck bombing killed almost 300 people.

Protesters wore red bands around their arms and heads in support of the families of the victims of the most recent attack. Some carried placards addressed at al-Shabaab that read, “Stop killing innocent people.”

“We are telling [al-Shabaab] that we are ready to take up arms and fight them from now on,” a 16-year-old protester told dpa in Mogadishu.

The march took the people through the city and to a rally at its Konis satdium, where President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo vowed the government would soon take revenge on those behind the attack.

Speaking before thousands of protesters, the president called on Somalis to united to kick al-Shabaab out of the country.

“This massacre was far from humanity and shows the ruthless of al-Shabaab. … We have to unite to defend our people.”

He promised the creation of a new task force to take on al-Shabaab

“We must get ready to go at front lines and I will be the first person to enlist for the new task force” the president said as he laid out plans.

Demonstrations against the extremists also took place in Somalia’s volatile Puntland, Jubaland and Galmudug regions.

Protesters wore red bands around their arms and heads in support of the families of the victims of the most recent attack. Some carried placards addressed at al-Shabaab that read, “Stop killing innocent people.”

“We are telling [al-Shabaab] that we are ready to take up arms and fight them from now on,” a 16-year-old protester told dpa in Mogadishu.

The march took the people through the city and to a rally at its Konis satdium, where President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo vowed the government would soon take revenge on those behind the attack.

Speaking before thousands of protesters, the president called on Somalis to united to kick al-Shabaab out of the country.

“This massacre was far from humanity and shows the ruthless of al-Shabaab. … We have to unite to defend our people.”

He promised the creation of a new task force to take on al-Shabaab.

“We must get ready to go at front lines and I will be the first person to enlist for the new task force” the president said as he laid out plans.

Demonstrations against the extremists also took place in Somalia’s volatile Puntland, Jubaland and Galmudug regions.

At least 281 people were killed and 300 others injured when a suicide bomber detonated a truck filled with explosives at a busy intersection in Mogadishu on Saturday. It was the deadliest single attack in the volatile East African nation’s history.

Before detonating the truck he was driving, the suicide bomber had raced along a Mogadishu street at high speed, rolling over motorcycles and cars and shunting vehicles stuck in traffic.

Farmajo called the attack a national tragedy.

Police said Wednesday they had made several arrests in relation with the bombing, but did not provide further details.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but many suspect al-Shabaab, a militant group affiliated with the al-Qaeda terrorist network, which is seeking an Islamist state in Somalia.

A 22,000-strong African Union force supports the Somali military in its fight against the terrorists.

By Mohamed Odowa, dpa.

 

Thousands in Somali capital march in defiance after attack.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Somalia’s capital Wednesday in a show of defiance after the country’s deadliest attack, as officials shared a detailed account of how Saturday’s truck bombing that killed more than 300 was carried out. They said two people have been arrested.

Wearing red headbands, the crowd of mostly young men and women marched through Mogadishu amid tight security. They answered a call to unity by Mayor Thabit Abdi, who said “we must liberate this city which is awash with graves.”

Some in Somalia have called the bombing their 9/11, while asking why one of the world’s deadliest attacks in years hasn’t drawn the kind of global attention given to extremist assaults elsewhere.

Another nearly 400 were wounded. Scores remain missing.

“You can kill us, but not our spirit and desire for peace,” said high school teacher Zainab Muse. “May Allah punish those who massacred our people,” said university student Mohamed Salad.

It was not all peaceful. At least three people, including a pregnant woman, were injured after security forces opened fire while trying to disperse protesters marching toward the attack site, said police Capt. Mohammed Hussein. Both Somali police and African Union soldiers were at the scene and opened fire, he said.

Somalia’s government has blamed Saturday’s attack on the al-Shabab extremist group, which often targets Mogadishu but has not commented. Analysts have suggested that al-Shabab, an al-Qaida ally, may have avoided taking responsibility because it did not want to be blamed for the deaths of so many civilians.

A detailed description of the attack emerged. According to a Somali intelligence official investigating the blast, an overloaded truck covered with a tarpaulin approached a security checkpoint outside Mogadishu early Saturday.

The truck, covered in dust, aroused the suspicions of soldiers who ordered the driver to park and get out. The driver, a man who soldiers said behaved in a friendly manner, made a phone call to someone in the capital.

The driver passed the phone to the soldiers to speak to a well-known man who vouched for the truck and persuaded soldiers to allow it into the city, said the Somali intelligence official.

Once through the checkpoint, the truck began to speed along the sandy, potholed road and raced through another checkpoint where soldiers opened fire and flattened one of its tires.

The driver continued before stopping on a busy street and detonating. The blast leveled nearly all nearby buildings in one of Mogadishu’s most crowded areas.

The man who vouched for the truck has been arrested and is being held in jail, the Somali intelligence official said.

The massive bomb, weighing between 600 kilograms and 800 kilograms (1,300 pounds and 1,700 pounds), was meant for Mogadishu’s heavily fortified international airport, according to security officials. Several countries’ embassies are located there.

The driver probably decided to detonate on the street instead because several checkpoints still lay ahead, the Somali intelligence official said.

“Another reason that he would not proceed further is the fact that security forces were coming after it,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The truck bomber had an accomplice driving a smaller car, a Toyota Noah minivan packed with explosives that took another route, said another Somali intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. Security forces stopped the vehicle at a checkpoint near the airport, forcing the driver to park and get out.

As soldiers questioned the driver, the minivan detonated, the official said.

The minivan’s driver is currently in a prison in Mogadishu, said a senior Somali police officer, Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

Somalia last year saw its highest-ever number of attacks from improvised explosives, at least 395, up from about 265 the year before, according to a threat assessment by the Nairobi-based Sahan research group. Since 2013, when there were 33 such attacks, the threat has grown quickly.

Al-Shabab’s capacity to produce and transport ever-larger explosives is improving, the assessment said. Vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices have increased from between 100 and 200 kilograms in 2015 to between 800 and 1,000 kilograms in 2016.

—AP

World reacts to ‘sickening’ Mogadishu bomb attack

World leaders from the United States, UK, Turkey, Canada and France strongly condemned the weekend truck bombing in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, which left at least 276 people dead.

Saturday’s explosion – the worst single explosion in the East African country’s history – occurred at Zoobe junction, a bustling area of the city with many shops, hotels and offices. The deadly blast also left more than 300 people wounded.

USA

In a statement released on Sunday, Washington condemned the bombing “in the strongest terms”. The US “will continue to stand with the Somali government, its people, and our international allies to combat terrorism and support their efforts to achieve peace, security, and prosperity,” the statement released by the State Department said.

UK

Boris Johnson, UK’s foreign secretary, said London “condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly attacks in Mogadishu, which have claimed so many innocent lives”.

France

French President Emmanuel Macron said: “Solidarity with Somalia. Support to the African Union against Islamist terrorist groups. France stands by your side,” in a tweet on Sunday.

Turkey

Ankara, which has recently built hospitals, schools and roads in the country, also condemned “the heinous terrorist attack” in Mogadishu.

“My condolences to the government and the people of Somalia. We stand by Somalia in the fight against terror & will tirelessly continue to help it recover from such atrocious attacks,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu‏, Turkey’s foreign minister, said on Sunday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara was sending planes “with medical supplies”, adding that the wounded would be flown to Turkey and treated there.

Canada

Meanwhile, the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau also condemn the mass murder in Mogadishu saying: “The attacks in Somalia are horrifying & Canada condemns them strongly. We mourn with the Canadian Somali community today,” in tweeted on Sunday.

United Nations

Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General, also condemned the blast in a tweet posted Sunday.

“Sickened by attacks in Mogadishu. I send condolences to the victims and urge unity in the face of terrorism and violent extremism,” Guterres said.

African Union

The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, asked the Somali government “to show renewed unity at this critical time and overcome divisions, to rebuild cohesion at all levels of the federal institutions.”

It said the pan-African body, which has deployed a peacekeeping mission in the east African country, would “continue its support to the Somali government and people in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace and security.”

Source: Al Jazeera News

At least 231 dead, more than 300 injured after Somali truck bombing.

A suicide bomber killed at least 231 people when he detonated in a truck at a busy intersection in the Somali capital.

It was the worst single attack in Somali history.

The death toll jumped after dozens of bodies were recovered from the rubble and some of those wounded died of the injuries they sustained in the blast. The number of dead is expected to rise as several other hospitals provide medical treatment for the bombing victims.

The explosion occurred at a major city intersection normally packed with cars, buses and taxis, where hotels, stores, restaurants and government buildings cater to locals. The nearby Safari hotel is thought to have been a possible target in the attack for offering accommodation to Somalis returned from abroad, government workers and journalists.

Before detonating the truck he was driving, the suicide bomber raced along a Mogadishu street at high speed, rolling over motorcycles and cars and striking some vehicles stuck in traffic. Security forces opened fire on the truck but did not shoot the driver.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed called the attack a national tragedy. In comments carried by state-run radio, the president called on the public to help victims by giving blood, and announced three days of mourning as thousands of people took to the city’s streets to visit hospitals and look for loved ones who were still missing.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Somali Information Minister Abdirahman Yarisow said the government believes it was carried out by al-Shabab, a militant group affiliated with the al-Qaida terrorist network that is seeking an Islamist state in Somalia. A 22,000-strong African Union force supports the Somali military in its fight against the terrorists.

By Mohamed Odowa: (c)2017 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

Visit Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) at www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html

Mogadishu rocked by twin car bombs

More than 50 people have been killed in a double car bomb attack in the capital of Somalia.Several others have been injured in the blasts in Mogadishu,KNN reports on Saturday.

Busy areas

The first explosion, in the city’s K5 Junction area which is lined with government offices, hotels and restaurants, destroyed several buildings and set dozens of vehicles on fire.

“It was a car bomb. Two civilians were killed,” said police major Siyad Farah, before adding that a suspect had been caught on suspicion of planting explosives.

About two hours later, a second blast shook the Buulahuubey neighborhood not too far from the area of the first explosion. Police said the second blast came from another suicide car bomber who killed only himself  after government troops intercepted him.

Has anyone admitted staging the attacks?

Not yet. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although the Islamist al-Shabaab group has carried out regular attacks.

The al Qaeda-allied group is waging an insurgency to topple the weak, UN-backed government and its African Union allies and impose its own strick interpretation of Islam.

They frequently launch gun, grenade and bomb attacks in Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government.

In recent years, the militants have lost most territory under their control to African Union peacekeepers and government troops.