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Security officers gather at the scene of a large explosion in Mogadishu Security officers gather at the scene of a large explosion in Mogadishu  (ANSA)

Pope Francis prays for victims of Somalia terror attack

Pope Francis prays for the victims and families of a car bomb that killed over 90 people in Somalia.

By Francesca Merlo

After reciting the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of a car bomb that exploded in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday.

“Let us pray to the Lord for the victims of yesterday’s horrible terrorist attack in Mogadishu in Somalia, where the explosion of a car bomb killed more than 70 people”, he said.

The Pope also promised his closeness to “all of their family members and those who mourn their deaths”.

At least 90 people died and over 100 others were wounded after a car bomb attack in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Somali authorities have said that the death toll is still expected to rise.  

Somali President speaks

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, though Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, believes the al-Shabab armed group are behind the attack. He condemned the tragedy as a “heinous act of terror”.

The al-Shabab group, which once controlled much of the territory, was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011. Since then they have often carried out similar attacks in Somalia as well as in neighbouring Kenya.

In response to the tragedy, as the year draws to a close, Pope Francis concluded his Angelus message by saying, off the cuff, that he hopes the year may end in peace, with “peace in our hearts”. 

29 December 2019, 12:13