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Committee: 587 dead in Oct 14 terror attack

Hiiraan Online
Monday March 5, 2018

A powerful truck bomb left a trail of destruction across a busy intersection in Mogadishu on Saturday. Credit Mohamed Abdiwahab/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mogadishu (HOL) - A Somali Committee investigating the toll of the devastating truck bombing in Mogadishu on Oct 14 has released new figures which raises the number of dead to 587.

The Zobe Rescue Committee made up of volunteers, government and security officials released their final report on the terror attack on Sunday. The group was formed to find a more accurate death toll by speaking with relatives of those who may have been in the blast's radios.

The report stated that the final number of fatalities in the attack stood at 587, an increase of 75 bodies since the last update in December. The new death toll makes the Oct 14th attack among the deadliest terror attacks in modern history.

The first probe gave a death toll of 358 before quickly climbing to 512, and the latest and final report pegs the deaths at 587.

In its report, the group added that an additional 316 people were seriously injured and noted that 122 victims had to be airlifted to Kenya, Sudan and Turkey for treatment.

Despite undergoing exhaustive efforts to try and count and identify each casualty, authorities warned that some of the victims may never be found because of the intensity of the blast.

Somalia's national relief and response committee have received nearly $4.4m (USD) in donations to support the victims of the attack. Somalia and Djibouti each contributed $1m, Puntland donated $500,000, and the rest was collected by the Somalia diaspora.

On Oct. 14, a truck bomb packed with explosives was detonated outside the busy K5 intersection in the middle of the day. The street is lined with government offices, kiosks and restaurants. The impact of the truck bomb was compounded by a near-by fuel tanker that multiplied the intensity of the blast. A second blasted targeting Medina district hit less than two hours later.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Al-Shabaab has frequently used the same method of attack against civilian, government and military positions in its decade-long insurgency.

A final death toll of 587 would make the Oct 14 bombing the third deadliest in history. Only a coordinated quadruple truck bombing attack in August 2007 on two Yazidi towns in Northern Iraq that killed 796 people and the infamous 9/11 attack in the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people surpass it in notoriety.

The committee also announced that in just three separate attacks last year, a total of 656 people have been killed and further 340 injured. The Oct 14th truck bombing claimed the lives of 587, another 46 were killed when the Nasa Hablod Hotel was attacked on Oct 28th, and finally, the attack on the Police Academy claimed 23 lives.


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