The bomber responsible for killing more than 300 people in Mogadishu on Saturday was a former Somali soldier whose home town was raided by the United States, the Guardian revealed in a special investigative report yesterday.
Investigators believe the attack last Saturday may have been motivated by revenge over a US and Somali counter-terrorism raid that killed scores of civilians in August.
Ten civilians were killed in the raid, including three children aged between six and ten. The civilians attempted to flee the raid but were shot and killed.
US-led forces conducted the raid in the town of Bariire, lower Shebelle region, in search of Al-Shabaab fighters linked to Al-Qaeda. The Al-Shabaab fighters were not found in the village, as they had been cleared out by Somali troops earlier in the same year.
Saturday’s double bomb blast killed more than 300 civilians in what has been dubbed the deadliest terror attack in Somalia since the Al-Shabaab insurgency began in 2007.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack however President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo blamed Al-Shabaab for the bombing, claiming the armed group’s “fingerprints” could be traced in the attack.
“This is their fingerprints, this is what they have done,” he told Al Jazeera. It is unknown why Farmajo made this statement at this time.
Turkey rushed to assist the Somali civilians and sent the Turkish Red Crescent in addition to the Health Minister, Ahmed Demircan, to accelerate emergency support services.
The Qatari embassy was damaged in the attack, and the country’s charge d’affaires was injured as a result. The official suffered minor injuries and the rest of the embassy staff were unharmed.
In the attacker’s village yesterday, a drone strike targeted a house killing eight civilians, including five men and three women. It is unclear who conducted the drone strike.
The US government regularly carries out drone strikes in Somalia, having killed 510 people and injured 54 since 2007, according the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
President Donald Trump has provided the Central Intelligence Agency and the US Military broader targeting authority inside Somalia, viewing parts of the country as a “temporary battlefield”.