The death toll in Somalia continues to rise as more bodies are discovered after the terrorist attack that rocked the country. Three hundred people are dead and over three hundred more are injured after a truck bomb exploded in the capital city of Mogadishu. Bodies are still being recovered under the rubble and many victims are burned beyond recognition. Only around one hundred of the dead have been identified by their families and the rest remain unknown. This has been the deadliest terror attack in the country in history. President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed has issued for three days of mourning in Somalia.
The blast brought down hotels, government agencies, local business, and restaurants. Though no group has taken responsibility for the attack, President Mohamed blames terrorist group Al-Shabab, calling it a “heinous act”. A Muslim extremist group, Al-Shabab is allies with al-Qaeda and commits many terrorist attacks in Somalia and across Africa. They are one of the most deadly terror organizations in the world and threatened to increase their violence in Somalia as a result of United States President Donald Trump’s threat to destroy them. However, Al-Shabab has yet to take responsibility for the bombing. Usually, Al-Shabab quickly claims responsibility after attacks. Still, on Sunday, people took to the streets of Somalia to condemn Al-Shabab.
The local hospitals in Mogadishu are not equipped to handle this volume of people who are seriously injured. According to Dr. Mohamed Yusef, the director of Madina Hospital in Mogadishu, “This is really horrendous, unlike any other time in the past.” He also told reporters that corpses were burned beyond recognition and the hospital could not deal with the severity of injuries. On Monday morning, over seventy injured victims were flown to Turkey, where they hopefully will receive better treatment.
As chaos continues and people mourn, many are still trying to find their missing family members. The information minister of Somalia told citizens, “we have established a national emergency operation center where we were helping those missing relatives. Many of the victims were burned beyond recognition, and others were blown to pieces.” One man, Mohamed Mohamed, is still looking for the remains of his 20-year-old son, Abdullahi Mohamed, who worked at a destroyed restaurant. “I just want to see my son. That is all I want. Nothing else. The rest I want to leave it to Allah to deal with.” Mohamed is just one of many who still has unanswered questions after this attack.
What happened in Mogadishu on Saturday is a horrible act of violence that must be condemned. Not only that, but Somalia does not have the supplies needed to respond to an attack of this magnitude. Though countries like Turkey have already offered help, many Western countries find it easy to ignore terrorist attacks that do not immediately affect them. The world must come together to help Somalia heal after this gruesome attack. So many questions remain unanswered as people remain missing and rubble fills the streets. We cannot ignore what has happened in Mogadishu.