The Somali government and the UN condemned Friday’s terrorist attack in Mudug region of central Somalia where Prime Minister Mohamed Roble was due to address a gathering.
In separate statements, President Mohamed Farmaajo, Roble and the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Somalia James Swan said the attacks will not deter efforts to stabilize the Horn of African nation.
“The terrorist attack in Galkayo shows the intent of the enemies of the Somali people who are intent on massacring our people in general,” Farmaajo said in a statement issued on Friday evening.
Farmajo wished the injured citizens a speedy recovery and noted that a united Somali people will defeat al-Shabab.
The explosion went off as hundreds of people had gathered at the Abdullahi Isse Stadium in the city of Galkayo, located in Mudug region, ahead of a planned appearance there by Roble.
The bomber was targeting the country’s prime minister who was not on the scene at the time of the attack.
Farmaajo’s statement comes as the government clarified that ten people, three senior military officers and seven civilians, were killed when a suicide bomber wearing a suicide vest blew himself up outside the stadium ahead of a visit by the country’s prime minister.
The prime minister who was the target in the attack sent his deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the terrorist attack in Galkayo.
“I say to the terrorists who carried out this act, your attacks will never discourage us and will not stop the movement of the Somali people and government for lasting peace and strong nationhood,” Roble said in a statement.
He called on the Somalis to unite against terrorism in order to foster peace and development of Somalia.
Al-Shabaab terror group which has been fighting to overthrow the Western-backed government claimed responsibility for the latest attack in the central town of Galkayo, saying their target was the prime minister.
On his part, the UN envoy paid tribute to the security officials who tirelessly work for the safety and security of all Somalis and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.
“This reprehensible act is an attack against all the people and leaders of North and South Galkayo who have worked so hard to keep the peace there in recent years,” said Swan in the statement.
Swan extended the UN condolences to the families of the victims, and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.
“We applaud the people of Galkayo for standing firm in the face of such an outrage and believe that such heinous violence will not deter them, nor their fellow Somalis, from continuing on their path of peace, reconciliation and stability,” he added.
The extremists have recently increased their attacks across the country.
The Horn of Africa nation was due to hold parliamentary and presidential elections between December and February 2021.
The terror group was driven out of Mogadishu by Somali army and African Union forces in 2011 but the group still carries out several attacks in Mogadishu and rural areas in the central and southern region.