Photo taken on Feb. 19, 2017 shows the site of a car bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia. At least 30 people were killed in a huge car bomb blast at a busy market in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Sunday, officials said. (Xinhua/Faisal Isse)
MOGADISHU, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Top UN envoy in Somalia has condemned Sunday's terrorist attack at a market in Mogadishu that killed at least 30 people and injured over 40 others.
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) in Somalia, Michael Keating, described the incident as a brutal reminder of the retrograde tactics employed by violent extremists.
"I condemn the terrorist attack in Mogadishu today. Killing civilians is despicable and achieves nothing -- except to remind Somalia of the indifference of extremists to human life and suffering," Keating said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
The deceased include pedestrians and shopkeepers who were in the vicinity of the market when the blast took place. No group has yet claimed responsibility, but it becomes the first major attack to happen since the election of the new president on February 8.
Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency confirmed the huge car bomb attack at Kawo-Gudey in Wadajir district, and claimed that the Al-Shabaab militants targeted innocent civilians who were going about their daily business activities in the market.
The attack takes place as the country prepares for the inaugural celebrations of the new Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo) who has come to office amid a public outpouring of euphoria marking the beginning of a new chapter in Somali history that is ripe with opportunity and promise.
"I commend the swift response of Somalia's security and first responders. The perpetrators need to be brought to justice swiftly. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families and friends of those who have died," Keating said.
The militants have recently increased their attacks against AU and Somali forces in the country, which has seen a surge of attacks that resulted in the loss of lives and property.
The AMISOM and Somali forces have also increased airstrikes in southern Somalia in the recent past.