Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

More attacks threatened after blast

A Somali soldier keeps guard near the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu (AP)

Al Qaida-linked militants have threatened more terror attacks that will "increase day by day" after a suicide bomber killed 72 people in Somalia.

Mourners transported coffins on cars to funerals for those who perished in al Shabab's deadliest bomb attack.

A truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded on Tuesday at the gate of a building housing several government ministries in a busy street in Mogadishu, where tens of thousands of famine victims have fled.

The attack came more than a month after most al Shabab fighters melted away from the capital amid a pro-government offensive, and showed that the insurgents remain a severe threat.

"At this time, when the country is in the midst of a worsening humanitarian crisis, the terrorists could not have attacked the Somali people at a worse time," Information Minister Abdulkadir Hussein Mohamed said.

Al Shabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage identified the suicide bomber as Somali student Bashar Abdullahi Nur. He said the attack was a warning to those who thought the group had left Mogadishu for good in August.

"We wish to inform the Muslim people that the campaign against infidels will be back-to-back and by God's grace will increase day by day and will increase in the coming hours," Rage said. "I will give a good tiding to the infidels: You will face big and broad blows."

In a pre-recorded farewell interview with an al Shabab radio station, the bomber said: "It will be a big blow to the heart of the enemy."

Tuesday's thunderous blast covered the city in dust and left blackened corpses sprawled amid burning vehicles. Somalia's Ministry of Health said yesterday that 72 people had been killed and more than 100 were wounded, including 38 still in serious condition.

"May Allah put them in hell," one Somali woman sobbed as a young man tried to comfort her. She then collapsed near the coffin of her dead son that was placed by a sandy grave.

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