A man convicted of involvement in the deadliest bomb attack in Somalia’s history has been executed on the first anniversary of the blast.
Hassan Adan Isak drove one of the vehicles involved in the attack on the capital, Mogadishu, a court ruled. Nearly 600 people were killed when a truck filled with explosives was detonated at one of the busiest intersections in the city.
A commemorative ceremony was held at the intersection yesterday. It has been renamed 14 October junction in memory of those who died there. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, although correspondents say all indications are that the militant Islamist al-Shabab group was responsible.
Saturday evening saw two suicide bombers kill 20 people in the town of Baidoa, in the south west of the country. Dozens were injured. Al-Shabab said it had carried out the attack.
Meanwhile, the first commercial flight between the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and Mogadishu in 41 years has taken place.
A plane from private airline Ethiopia National Airways landed at the Somali capital’s Aden Adde airport on Saturday, the first of a planned four flights a week. It is the latest sign of improving relations between the two neighbouring Horn of Africa countries.
Meanwhile, the number of people killed in twin suicide bomb attacks on two restaurants in Somalia’s southern city of Baidoa has risen to 20 and another 40 people were injured, a local hospital official said on Sunday.
Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in restaurants in Baidoa in the early evening on Saturday. Islamist militant group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for the group said it had targeted the restaurants because they were frequented by government troops.
The attacks followed a U.S. air strike on Friday against al Shabaab militants in Haradere, a district in Galmudug region. Al Shabaab wants to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government and impose its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.