NEW DELHI: India on Sunday strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Mogadishu on October 29 that have claimed several innocent lives.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to those injured in the twin blasts,” read the Ministry of External Affairs press release. As many as 100 people were killed and more than 300 others were wounded in Somalia on Saturday after two car bombs exploded near the education ministry in the capital Mogadishu.
The two car bombs exploded near a busy intersection in the capital and near the Ministry of Education, according to an official with the president’s office, reported CNN.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a video statement posted on his official Twitter account claimed that the Al-Shabaab terror group in Somalia was responsible for the deadly attack.
“Today’s cruel and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent people by the morally bankrupt and criminal al-Shabaab group cannot discourage us but will further strengthen our resolve to defeat them once and for all,” Mohamud wrote on Twitter.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamist group Al-Shabaab has claimed other recent attacks, reported CNN. “Our government and brave people will continue to defend Somalia against evil,” Mohamud added.
The intersection, Zobe junction, was the same location as a deadly bombing attack on October 14, 2017, which killed more than 500 people and injured around 300 others. “By the will of God, no other October like this will happen. They won’t get the chance to commit such a thing,” Mohamud said, calling Saturday’s attack a repeat of the 2017 bombings.
The recent siege of an upscale hotel in the capital Mogadishu killing at least 20 people is a grave reminder of the security challenges the country is facing. Al-Shabaab emerged as the radical youth wing of Somalia’s now-defunct Union of Islamic Courts, which controlled Mogadishu in 2006, before being forced out by Ethiopian forces.
Al-Shabaab advocates the Saudi-inspired Wahhabi version of Islam, while most Somalis are Sufis. It has imposed a strict version of Sharia in areas under its control, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of thieves. It is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK.
There have been numerous reports that Al-Shabab may have formed some links with other militant groups, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Qaeda. Somalia has long been called a failed or fragile state that has seen one of the biggest failures of international counter-terror operations. Somalia has not had an effective national government for more than 20 years, during which much of the country has been a war-zone.
Al-Shabaab gained support by promising people security, but its credibility was knocked when it rejected Western food aid to combat a 2011 drought and famine. In 2022, there was a peaceful transition of power in Somalia after the successful completion of the legislative and presidential elections.
In recent years, despite international counter-terror measures, Al-Shabab has grown in strength, cashing in on the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and the security crises in neighbouring countries. (ANI)