At least 300 people are dead and over 300 injured after a bombing Saturday, October 14, in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. The devastating attack is the deadliest in Somalia’s modern history.
No one has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack, in which two truck bombs detonated in the k5 Junction — a high traffic area near the Safari Hotel and Qatar Embassy. However, Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has blamed the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab for the “heinous act.”
Al-Shabaab has been present in Somalia since at least 2003. Previously funded by Osama bin Laden, the organization of roughly 1,000 members wants Somalia to become a fundamentalist Islamic state. They have also been responsible for attacks in Kenya and Uganda.
Over 30 injured individuals in critical condition were airlifted to Ankara, Turkey by military plane.
“Brothers, this cruel act was targeted at civilians who were going about their business,” said Mohamed. “Mogadishu is a place of respect, and if we remain united like we are today, moving ahead, we will surely defeat the enemy, Allah willing.” The president called for three days of mourning across the country.
But today, just two days after the deadliest incident in the country’s history, that news is already off the front page of most of the world’s newspapers. By late Monday evening, the front page of the New York Times was almost entirely about Donald Trump. Same with the Washington Post (with the exception of an article about the Harvey Weinstein abuse). Nothing more about Mogadishu.
We’ve also seen very little social media outrage — certainly nothing compared with the Las Vegas shootings of one week ago, or the Manchester bombing last May, both of which had far fewer casualties. And while there have been plenty of “condolences” and “condemnation” voiced by governments around the world, Turkey, Kenya, and Ethiopia seems to be the only countries sending medical supplies and other aid.
As an Al Jazeera headline noted today: “Double standards: Why aren’t we all with Somalia?”
by Zoe Licata (Boston, Massachusetts)