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