Xi of­fers con­do­lences over bomb­ing in So­ma­lia At least 300 peo­ple killed in the coun­try’s dead­li­est at­tack

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping on Tues­day sent con­do­lences to his So­mali coun­ter­part, Mo­hamed Ab­dul­lahi Mo­hamed, over Satur­day’s deadly truck bomb­ing in the coun­try’s cap­i­tal, Mogadishu.

In a mes­sage of con­do­lences, Xi said he was shocked to learn the bomb­ing that had caused heavy ca­su­al­ties.

On be­half of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and peo­ple as well as in his own name, Xi mourned the dead, ex­tended heart­felt sym­pa­thy to the in­jured and the be­reaved fam­i­lies and wished the in­jured a quick re­cov­ery.

At least 300 peo­ple were killed and more than 400 oth­ers in­jured in the bomb­ing that hap­pened on Satur­day in a shop­ping area of Mogadishu, mak­ing it the dead­li­est sin­gle at­tack in So­ma­lia’s his­tory.

So­ma­lia’s gov­ern­ment has blamed the at­tack on the al-Shabab ex­trem­ist group, which has not com­mented.

The United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil stood in a mo­ment of si­lence on Tues­day for the vic­tims of the truck bomb­ing.

On Wed­nes­day, thou­sands of peo­ple took to the streets of Mogadishu in a show of de­fi­ance af­ter the at­tack.

“You can kill us, but not our spirit and de­sire for peace,” said high school teacher Zainab Muse.

An­guished fam­i­lies have scoured Mogadishu in search of scores still miss­ing from the bomb blast.

Sit­ting out­side a hos­pi­tal mor­tu­ary on Tues­day, Ho­dan Ali qui­etly looked for her miss­ing brother by show­ing peo­ple his photo on the screen of her mo­bile phone.

Fifty-year-old taxi driver Ab­diqadir Ali was last seen on Satur­day on his way to a ho­tel to pick up a client just be­fore the ex­plo­sion on a busy street.

Ho­dan, a mother of four, said she had vis­ited most of Mogadishu’s hos­pi­tals but nei­ther she nor other fam­ily mem­bers found any sign of him.

“I am about to give up,” she said. “Noth­ing is more painful than not know­ing the where­abouts of your loved ones, whether life or death.”

Three days of mourn­ing

Across the city, So­ma­lia’s flag flew at half-mast, mark­ing three days of na­tional mourn­ing.

Nearly 70 peo­ple were miss­ing, based on ac­counts from rel­a­tives, said po­lice Cap­tain Mo­hamed Hus­sein.

The dis­as­ter quickly over­whelmed the frag­ile health sys­tem of a coun­try which has ex­pe­ri­enced nearly three decades of civil war and an­ar­chy and is heav­ily de­pen­dent on for­eign aid.

Planes med­i­cal sup­plies and doc­tors from the United States, Kenya, Turkey and Qatar have landed in Mogadishu.

In Kenya, the gov­ern­ment has launched a funds drive to help vic­tims af­fected by the at­tack. Kenya’s For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Amina Mo­hamed said the funds drive seeks to raise re­sources to­ward emer­gency re­sponse and liveli­hood re­cov­ery.

“To­day we launch ‘ Kenyans for So­ma­lia’ and call upon Kenyans of good­will to sup­port our broth­ers and sis­ters in So­ma­lia. The ur­gent needs in­clude med­i­cal at­ten­tion, psy­cho­log­i­cal sup­port as well as short and long term sup­port to those ren­dered des­ti­tute,” Mo­hamed said.

She said Kenya has al­ready do­nated 11 tons of as­sorted medicine and two planes to air­lift 31 peo­ple with in­juries for treat­ment in the coun­try.


Turk­ish paramedics carry a wounded man af­ter a Turk­ish plane car­ry­ing 35 wounded in a mas­sive ex­plo­sion in Mogadishu, So­ma­lia, landed at a mil­i­tary base in Ankara, Turkey, on Mon­day.

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