Somalia: UN envoy pays tribute victims of Mogadishu bombing

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By UNSOM , Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, expressed his solidarity with the victims of a devastating suicide bombing in central Mogadishu a year ago during a brief ceremony today at the main United Nations compound in the Somali capital.

The explosion killed at least 587 people and ranks as the deadliest ever terrorist attack in Africa involving the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Another 316 people were injured in the blast, and among the fatalities was the United Nations Development Programme staff member Faiza Sheikh Mohamud.

“As we honor the memories of the deceased this day, I call upon the forces of violent extremism to refrain from using IEDs as a weapon of the insurgency,” said Mr. Haysom. “Owing to the indiscriminate nature of IED attacks, most of the victims are usually innocent civilians -- men, women, and children. No political purpose can ever be served by the random killing of civilians.”

The SRSG also praised the resilient spirit of the Somali people and noted how the country’s progress towards peace and prosperity has continued unabated despite sporadic incidents of terrorism.

“Our thoughts also go out to those survivors of the explosion whose lives were irreversibly altered by the terrible events of 14 October 2017,” said Mr. Haysom. “May they and their loved ones find the strength to overcome the lasting physical and mental scars left by this heinous attack.”

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