Two car bombs exploded at Somalia’s education ministry next to a busy market intersection on October 29, killing at least 100 people and wounding at least 300 more. Extremist group al Shabaab has claimed responsibility and said the attack was in response to Somali children being taught from a Christian-led education syllabus.
The new Somali administration has identified security as its top national priority. This comes at a time when al Shabaab has demonstrated increased boldness, including recent targeted assassinations, complex attacks, and large-scale military actions along the border with Ethiopia.
The White House issued a statement condemning the attack. “We send our deepest condolences to the Somali people and to all those who lost loved ones or were injured by these unconscionable attacks against innocent civilians,” National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, said. “The United States remains committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia in its fight to prevent such callous terrorist acts.”
The United Nations echoed this statement and confirmed that UN staff were among the victims. The UN Secretary-General pledged continued support for a peaceful and prosperous Somalia.
The attack was the deadliest since October 2017, when a vehicle bomb at the same market intersection killed more than 500 people.