While it is being dubbed as worst of the terror attacks on Somalia, thousands of country’s residents gathered to pray on Friday at the site of the that very deadliest attack. The toll because of the attack has climbed up to 358 amidst dozens remaining missing. It is now being said that Somalia’s president will announce a “state of war” against the al-Shabab extremist group which is being blamed for the bombing.
The United States is expected to play a supporting role in the new offensive that President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is set to launch on Saturday, a Somali military official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.
Somalia’s army spokesman Capt. Abdullahi Iman said the offensive involving thousands of troops will try to push al-Shabab fighters out of their strongholds in the Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions where many deadly attacks on Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and on Somali and African Union bases have been launched.
Also Friday, the U.S. military said it had resumed its fight against al-Shabab with a drone strike.
No comments from extremist group
The extremist group has not commented on Saturday’s truck bombing in Mogadishu, which Somali intelligence officials have said was meant to target the city’s heavily fortified international airport where many countries have their embassies. The massive bomb, which security officials said weighed between 600 kilograms and 800 kilograms (1,300 pounds and 1,700 pounds), instead detonated in a crowded street after soldiers opened fire and flattened one of the truck’s tires.