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World leaders condemn 'revolting' Mogadishu attack

The devastating bombing, described as the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history, has been universally condemned.

Protesters on Sunday chant slogans

Leaders from around the world on Sunday strongly condemned a powerful bomb blast that killed more than 200 people and wounded hundreds of others in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

The powerful explosion on Saturday afternoon struck a busy junction in Hodan, a bustling commercial district in the heart of the city that is home to many many shops, hotels and other businesses. Hundreds of people had been in the area at the time of the blast.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo on Sunday declared three days of national mourning and called for donations of blood and funds to victims, as doctors at Mogadishu hospitals struggled to assist badly-wounded victims, many burned beyond recognition.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility. Al-Shabab, an armed group that has carried out dozens of attacks in Mogadishu and other parts of the country, has yet to comment.

'Senseless and coward act'

The devastating bombing, described as the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history, was universally condemned.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara was sending planes "with medical supplies" to Somalia.

"We strongly condemn the Mogadishu terrorist attack," Kalin said in a message posted on Twitter, adding that the wounded would be flown to Turkey and treated there. He did not specify numbers. 

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, "strongly condemned" the attack in Mogadishu, his spokesman said in a statement.

"He conveys his condolences to the bereaved families and wishes speedy recovery to the injured," said Stephane Dujarric.

"The Secretary-General commends the first responders and the inhabitants of Mogadishu who have mobilised to assist the victims throughout the city. He urges all Somalis to unite in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism and work together in building a functional and inclusive federal state."

Michael Keating, the UN special envoy to Somalia, called the attack "revolting".

"I am shocked and appalled by the number of lives that were lost in the bombings and the scale of destruction they caused," he said in a statement.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union Commission, asked the Somali government "to show renewed unity at this critical time and overcome divisions, to rebuild cohesion at all levels of the federal institutions". 

He said the pan-African body, which has deployed a peacekeeping mission in the country, would "continue its support to the Somali government and people in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace and security". 

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent his condolences to the Somali president and wished "a speedy recovery to the injured", Qatar News Agency reported.

The US State Department also condemned the bombing "in the strongest terms", calling it a "senseless and cowardly act".

"The United States will continue to stand with the Somali government, its people, and our international allies to combat terrorism and support their efforts to achieve peace, security, and prosperity," it said in a statement.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said his country "condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly attacks in Mogadishu, which have claimed so many innocent lives". 

Jagmeet Singh, the new leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, expressed his support to the people of Somalia.

Many social media users took to online platforms to post messages of solidarity and prayers for the victims, while others questioned why the devastating bombing had not received the media attention it deserved.

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