Massacre in Mogadishu

15 October 2017 Mogadishu, SOMALIA
Keywords : Declarations Human and trade union rights Somalia

The Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) is deeply shocked by the horrific massacre of innocent people in massive explosion after a truck full of bombs and landmines exploded yesterday, Saturday afternoon, 14 October 2017, at KM5 junction in southern Mogadishu - one of the busiest areas in the Capital city. This is the most powerful bomb ever hit Mogadishu.

We have today visited KM5 junction as well as Mogadishu’s two main hospitals, Madina Hospital and Digfeer hospital. We were informed by the medics that bodies of 230 people who were killed in this horrific attack were brought in these two hospitals - 130 of these dead people are still to be unidentified by their families and relatives because many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition. Unfortunately, the death toll is likely to rise.

More than 250 people were wounded in this explosion. Serious burn victims, several in critical condition, are to be airlifted to Istanbul, Turkey, for urgent and appropriate medication. Turkish Airlines is expected to bring 5 planes tomorrow to carry the wounded. Turkish visa requirements for wounded people are suspended.

The majority of massacred and wounded people are workers. They are hotel and petroleum workers as KM5 is the base for several petroleum companies. The victims include informal economy workers selling fresh vegetables, milk, Khad, stationers and consumer electronics. Transport workers of drivers and conductors are among the dead people. All these victims provide main source of income for their households, bringing food to their families.

FESTU headquarters is 400 miters away from where the incident happened, the entire office was shaken, windows/mirrors crumpled, and electricity and internet were cut off. Leaders of FESTU today donated blood to victims. We appealed to our members to donate blood to their fellow workers who are in dire need for lifesaving blood.

We express our sympathies with the bereaved families and pray for the departed souls. We send our condolences to working people who have lost their loved ones and to all the Somali people who are trying to come to terms with this massive tragedy.

It is particularly tragic that most of the victims were workers and young people whose lives have been cruelly cut short by these ruthless assassins. There can never be any conceivable justification for the murder of innocent people.

President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, declared last night three days of mourning and the Somali flag is flying half-mast.

Omar Faruk Osman

General Secretary

Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU)

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