e massive truck bomb that tore through Mogadishu on the 14th of October, incinerating hundreds of civilians. The deadliest such bombing in Somalia's history. Now we know more about it. The attack consisted of two blasts, one big, one small. Security forces say one bomb would have breached a checkpoint, opening the way for a large one.
But as Reuters' Catherine Harold reports, it didn't play out as planned.>> But security experts say that the bomb detonated prematurely, and that the actual target was a sprawling complex, housing foreign diplomats, militaries, and contractors at Mogadishu International Airport. They say that driver was stopped at the checkpoint, questioned by security forces, who tried to detain him.
But he got in the truck and drove as fast as he could before he was stopped by traffic where he detonated the truck>> He ended up detonating at a busy intersection called Kilometer Five, next to a fuel truck. Over 350 people died. The government buried 160 bodies in mass graves as they were too badly burnt to be recognized by relatives.
Somali insurgent group, Al Shabaab, hasn't yet taken responsibility for the blasts and it may not do so. But security forces say the driver of the second truck bomb was captured alive and has admitted to being a member of the group. Swabs from the truck bomb showed traces of potassium nitrate, a fertilizer component that indicates homemade explosives.
The attack puts more pressure on the President, who's trying to reform the ragged Somali security forces. But, last week, the Minister of Defense and Army Chief resigned, without giving a reason, and this week the Interior Ministry Spokesman did the same. Unwelcomed confusion amidst efforts to counter such insurgent attacks.