MOGADISHU - The Africa Union condemned the terrorist attack which killed at least 79 people and injured 149 others in Mogadishu on Saturday and vowed to step up efforts to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation despite increased attacks.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission said the pan African body will not relent in the face of such heinous crimes against humanity, stressing that it will not be intimidated by cowardly acts of violence by terrorists who do not want a peaceful Somalia.
"Our support to the Federal Government of Somalia, and our mission in Somalia will maintain its resolve and commitment to see through its mandate and to fulfill the legitimate desire of the people of Somalia to live in freedom, peace and security," said Mahamat in a statement issued by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Sunday.
A suicide bomber early Saturday detonated a car bomb at a busy checkpoint where several vehicles had lined up for security check in the outskirt of Mogadishu.
Among the lives lost were university students, women and children as well as members of the Somali national security forces.
Mahamat said he was deeply shocked by the Saturday attack in Mogadishu in which dozens of innocent people who were going about their normal businesses were killed.
"Our hearts and thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those killed in this horrific attack. We commiserate with the Federal Government of Somalia. We pray for the speedy healing and recovery of the injured," he said.
"As has been their practice all along, the terrorists target innocent and defenseless Somali civilians, who continue to bear the brunt of this senseless bloodshed," said Mahamat.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest in Somalia since a truck bombing in October 2017 in Mogadishu, which left at least 276 people dead and more than 300 others injured.