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The Latest: Former al-Shabab leader condemns Somalia attack

October 16, 2017

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The Latest on deadly bombing in Somalia’s capital (all times local):

5 p.m.

A former leader of the al-Shabab extremist group who surrendered to Somalia’s government earlier this year has condemned Saturday’s bombing that killed more than 300 people.

Sheikh Mukhtar Robow called the deadliest-ever attack in Somalia an “irreligious” and “heartless” act. The truck bomb targeted a crowded street in Mogadishu.

Somalia’s government has blamed al-Shabab, which has yet to comment on the attack.

Robow’s surrender followed by a decision by the Trump administration, which removed him from the “most wanted list” of terrorist suspects run by the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program in June.


4:30 p.m.

Scores of people are missing since Saturday’s deadly truck bombing in Somalia’s capital, raising fears that death toll will continue to rise.

Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein says at least 300 people are dead and close to 400 others are injured.

Hussein says that as hospitals and families continue to count the dead, nearly 70 people are missing, based on accounts from relatives.

He says many bodies were burnt to ashes in the attack.


4:15 p.m.

The Eiffel Tower will dim its lights in solidarity with Somalia and in mourning for more than 300 people killed in the country’s deadliest-ever attack.

The tower management tweeted Monday: “I will turn myself off at midnight to pay homage to the victims of the Mogadishu attack.” Normally the Paris monument stays lit later into the night.

The Paris mayor has increasingly asked the tower to dim its sparkling lights to honor victims of extremist attacks around the world.

Somalia’s government is blaming Saturday’s truck bombing on the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group, which has not commented.


1:50 p.m.

A 50-year-old man who lived in Minnesota is among the more than 300 people killed in a powerful bomb blast in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow died in Saturday’s explosion.

The executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told a news conference Sunday that Eyow was in his hotel room when the bomb went off.

Hussein says many other Somalis in the Minneapolis area are still trying to find out if family members survived the attack.


1:15 p.m.

The director of an ambulance service in Mogadishu says 15 primary school children are among the over 300 people killed in Somalia’s deadliest blast.

Abdulkadir Adam told The Associated Press that the children were on a school bus died when the massive truck bomb detonated nearby.

Saturday’s attack struck a crowded street near some of Somalia’s government ministries. About 300 people are injured, many of them badly.


11:45 a.m.

Turkey’s state-run news agency says the country’s health minister has arrived in Somalia to coordinate the evacuation of some of the wounded in the truck bombing in Mogadishu.

More than 300 people were killed and about 300 injured in the deadliest attack in Somalia’s history.

Anadolu Agency said Health Minister Ahmet Demircan is accompanied by 33 Turkish medical personnel.

Hospitals in Turkey have been readied to receive some 50 of the wounded.

The agency also reports that Turkey’s Emergency and Disaster Management Agency is sending search and rescue experts and medical teams.


11:30 a.m.

The director of an ambulance service in Somalia’s capital says the death toll from Saturday’s truck bombing is now over 300.

Dr. Abdulkadir Adam, the director of Aamin Ambulance, says more people have died of their wounds in the past few hours.

This is the deadliest single attack the Horn of Africa nation has ever experienced. Somalia is blaming the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented.


11 a.m.

Funerals have begun and the death toll is expected to rise as Somalia reels from the deadliest single attack it’s ever experienced.

The government says 276 were killed in Saturday’s truck bombing in Mogadishu and about 300 others are injured. Somalia is blaming the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented.

Officials say more than 70 critically injured people are being airlifted to Turkey for treatment as international aid begins to arrive.

Nervous relatives stand on the tarmac at the airport, praying for the recovery of their loved ones.

Overwhelmed hospitals in Mogadishu are struggling to assist other badly wounded victims, many burned beyond recognition.

The attack was one of the worst in the world in recent years.

Update hourly