The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has condemned the latest terrorist attack that took place in Somalia on Thursday, urging Somali citizens not to be deterred by such violence.
Thee al-Shabaab gunmen stormed a building in the capital Mogadishu and shot indiscriminately at anyone in their way. A gun battle ensued between the militants and security forces, lasting for hours, in what reports indicate was the longest siege by the extremist group since it was forced out of the capital in 2011.
In the end, at least 20 people were killed, with scores others injured.
In a statement on Friday, Guterres condoled with the families and friends of the victims, and wished “a swift recovery to those injured” and commended “the response of the Somali emergency services to the bombings.”
“Somalis will not be deterred by such violence from pursuing a peaceful and prosperous future,” Guterres said, reiterating the UN’s support for the people and government of Somalia.
Al-Shabaab has waged a war in Somalia for over a decade, aiming to topple the government and instill an extreme jihadist system of governance.
The war has killed tens of thousands and formed millions to flee their homes, rendering Somalia to be one of Africa’s biggest refugee crises.
Joint efforts between local, regional and international forces has however forced the militant group to flee into hiding, though it still manages to stage attacks, mainly by the use of suicide bombers.
While echoing the sentiments of the UN Secretary General, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) also strongly condemned the “twin bomb explosions”, saying “no political agenda can be served by violent extremism”.