MOGADISHU: Thousands of Somalis demonstrated on Wednesday against those behind bombings that killed more than 300 people at the weekend, defying police who opened fire to keep them away from where their loved-ones perished.
The twin blasts at busy junctions in the heart of Mogadishu on Saturday injured another more than 400 in what were the country’s deadliest truck bombings.
Police initially opened fire to prevent people from accessing the rubble-strewn scene of the attack, injuring at least two people, the emergency response service said.
But eventually they had to let thousands of the demonstrators gather there after they were overwhelmed by the numbers. Residents said they had never seen such a big protest in the city.
“We are demonstrating against the terrorists that massacred our people. We entered the road by force,” said Halima Abdullahi, a mother who lost six of her relatives in the attacks.
The militant group Al Shabaab, which began an insurgency in 2007, has not claimed responsibility, but the method and type of attack — a large truck bomb — is increasingly used by the Al Qaeda-linked organisation.
Mohamed Ali, a police captain at the scene, said it was fine for the demonstrators to access the scene to express their grief.
“For some who could not see their relatives alive or dead, the only chance they have is to at least see the spot where their beloved were killed,” he said. The government buried at least 160 of those who were killed because they could not be identified after the blast.— Reuters