At least three-hundred are dead following the Mon. Oct. 16 terrorist attack in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia.
Two truck bombs detonated in different parts of the city center. Each truck is thought to have been filled with a combination of military-grade and homemade explosives. One of the bombs caused a significantly larger number of casualties due to a secondary explosion of a nearby gas tanker.
Current estimates have the number of casualties somewhere between 300 and 500. An exact number has been difficult to pinpoint because the city is still in the process of cleaning up the rubble created from the blasts. Some bodies will never be found due to the severity of the blasts.
As of press time, no specific group or person has taken credit for the attack. However, Al-Shabaab is widely thought to be the culprit. Al-Shabaab is a group of Islamic radicals based out of Eastern Africa, and they have been particularly active with acts of terrorism in Somalia in recent history. Additionally, Al-Shabaab has known ties to the infamous terrorist group Al-Qaeda.
In the wake of the horrendous attack, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of Somalia, called for the country to enter three days of mourning to honor the dead.
Trump has yet to directly comment on the attack. However, other representatives of the U.S. government have expressed solidarity with those of Mogadishu and have spoken out against such terrorist activity. Increased U.S. military activity in Mogadishu is expected; the last significant military occupation in the Somali capital was in 1993.
This week’s events unfortunately affects many members of the Minnesota and Augsburg communities. Minnesota man and father Ahmed Abdikarin Eyow, age 50, was in Mogadishu and was killed in the attack.
Tuesday evening, President Pribbenow published a tweet standing by the citizens of Mogadishu, Augsburg’s Somali students and other neighbors to Augsburg.
We, the Echo team, share these sentiments expressed by Pres. Pribbenow. From the bottom of our hearts, we express our condolences for any and all who have been hurt by this atrocious act of terrorism. These evil acts have absolutely no place in our world.
We encourage everyone to seek comfort in this time of grief, whether that be through the Center for Wellness and Counseling (CWC) on campus, prayer and other religious institutions or any other healing mechanisms, we hope that those grieving are not alone on their path of healing.
This article first appeared in the Friday, October 20, 2017, Edition of The Echo.