MOGADISHU, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- An African regional bloc on Monday strongly condemned terrorist attack at a market in Somalia's Mogadishu on Sunday, which killed over 30 people and injured dozens more, saying it will not hinder efforts to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation.
In a statement, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said it was horrified by the killings of the innocent civilians by Al-Shabaab militants, noting that the incident is a brutal reminder of the conservative tactics employed by violent extremists.
"This atrocity, which comes in the wake of Somalia's successful elections, demonstrates yet again that the terrorists have no regard for the sanctity of human lives and seek to simply derail the country from pressing forward along the path of peace and development," the bloc said.
The Sunday incident saw a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device being detonated at the Abagedo market near Kawa Gudey in the Wadajir district of Mogadishu, claiming the lives of pedestrians and shopkeepers in the vicinity.
The attack came at a time when Somalia is preparing for the inaugural celebrations of its newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo).
"The so sadly high number of deaths and injured reported is attributed to the fact that this cowardly act targeted shops, tea houses, and restaurants," said IGAD, which has been involved in peace initiatives to stabilize Somalia.
The regional bloc said it would stand in solidarity with Somalia and expressed its confidence that Somalis will continue to show the kind of resolve they have shown thus far in their efforts to rebuild the country.