Security officers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Sunday visited the scene of Saturday’s bomb blast to assess the damage and identify areas of support ahead of a massive clean-up operation.
The team led by the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) Contingent Commander, Brig. Muhanga Kayanja, was received at the scene by Brig. Abdi Omar of the Somali National Army (SNA), who briefed the officers on the ongoing search and rescue operations, following the terror attack.
Brig. Kayanja said AMISOM will help Somali government in search and rescue operation to ensure those trapped in the rubble are rescued.
“This is the location of the hotel at kilometer 5 in Mogadishu city where the terrorists bombed. As you can see from the destruction around, many people have died but we have not established the number. We have been informed that some people are still trapped in the rubble and they have been calling but their phone batteries have died, however, all efforts are in place to make sure that we rescue survivors from the rubble,” he stated.
The contingent commander condemned the attack which targeted civilians, terming it a cowardly act and adding that the people of Somalia with the support of AMISOM will triumph over terrorism.
“This is an act of cowardice by the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, and it is intended to coerce the civilian population into fearing and supporting them, but it is an act of cowardice and we shall defeat it,” Brig. Kayanja said.
A Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED), suspected to have been deployed by Al-Shabaab detonated at a busy junction in the central business district, on Saturday, killing innocent civilians and destroying property worth millions of dollars.
AMISOM staff is also donating blood in response to an appeal by the government to help treat those injured in the blast.
Since the day of the blast, AMISOM troops, working together with their Somali counterparts and the civilian population, have been taking part in the search and rescue operation.
Troop Contributing Countries of Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi and Djibouti together with the SNA have been battling the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, in an effort to restore peace and stability in the Horn of Africa country.