Somalia marks 2 years since devastating Mogadishu bombing
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Hundreds of mourners and officials gathered Monday at K-5 junction in Mogadishu, where two years ago a truck bomb killed 587 people in the country’s deadliest terrorist attack, Garowe Online reports.
Another 316 people were injured in the blast, and among the fatalities were government employees, students and a United Nations program worker.
Memories of the bombing are still raw in a country that has faced decades of deadly warlord-led chaos and attacks by the al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabab extremist group which is struggling for a decade to oust the UN-backed government.
The Oct. 14, 2017 bombing was one of the world’s deadliest attacks since 9/11 that Al-Shabab never claimed responsibility for the truck bombing amid local outrage.
Somalia’s Federal Government has last year declared Oct. 14 as a national day to remember victims of all “terrorist” bombings across the war-torn Horn of Africa nation.
Garowe Online correspondent in the capital says Somali security forces were deployed across major installations in the restive city and closed some main streets as the country marked the second anniversary of October 14, 2017.
Speaking to the mourners, including those who bear the scars of the bombing gathered at “October 14 monument”, the new Mogadishu Mayor Omar Filish said the gathering has shown how Somali people have rejected terrorism.
The commemoration comes a day after a mortar attack on the UN compound and AU military base in Mogadishu's heavily fortified Halane facility left at least six people, including foreign nationals wounded.
The missions of the United Nations and African Union, as well as several embassies, including a recently re-opened US embassy are based inside the perimeter fence adjacent to the airport.
Somalis now look to the future with a mixture of sorrow and hope.