A local resident looks at the damage from Saturday's terrorist attack in Mogadishu A local resident looks at the damage from Saturday's terrorist attack in Mogadishu  (AFP or licensors)

Pope Francis prays for victims of Somalia terrorist attack

As twin car bomb explosions kill over 100 people in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu, Pope Francis prays that God may convert the hearts of the violent.

By Nathan Morley & Devin Watkins

Twin car bomb explosions on Saturday outside Somalia's Education Ministry building in Mogadishu killed at least 100 people and injured more than 300 others.

On Sunday, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the terrorist attack while speaking at the Angelus prayer.

“As we celebrate Christ's victory over evil and death, we pray for the victims of the terrorist attack in Mogadishu which killed more than 100 people, including many children. May God convert the hearts of the violent!”

Death toll likely to rise

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for this latest outrage, which killed women, children, and several pensioners.

After visiting the scene of the atrocity, the Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said the number of fatalities would likely rise in the coming days.

President Mohamud declared an all-out war against the militants, and vowed to step up the offensive against terrorists behind a series of attacks across the country.

Giving details of the attack, police said a vehicle loaded with explosives drove into the education ministry building. Another explosion occurred later in the same area.

Journalists and police officers were also among the casualties, according to a spokesperson of the Somali Police Force.

Ongoing anti-terror offensive

Saturday’s explosions came as the Somali president and leaders of the federal member states were meeting to examine ongoing offensive actions against al-Shabab.

The incident occurred at the exact location where a lorry packed with explosives exploded in October 2017, killing 587 people, mostly civilians.

Meanwhile, the United Nations mission in Somalia, UNSOM, pledged to stand resolutely with all Somalis against terrorism.

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30 October 2022, 12:21