Turkish Health Minister set to visit Somalia over terror attack

Published 16.10.2017 00:00
Updated 16.10.2017 02:03

The Turkish Health Minister will pay an official visit to Somalia Monday in solidarity with Somali officials following Saturday's suicide bombing in Mogadishu which killed 230 and injured 250, according to the Health Ministry.

Ahmet Demircan's visit will speed up the process of transferring the injured, the statement read.

The minister is scheduled to meet Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

Measures were taken for 50 wounded, who are expected to arrive in Turkey for treatment Monday, it added.

On Sunday, a shipment of medication and medical equipment was sent to Somalia by military aircraft.

Two general surgery specialists, two orthopedists and two plastic surgeons were also sent to Somalia for help.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed announced three days of mourning over the attack.

Turkish aid, condemnation

As Ankara sent air ambulances with medical supplies to take the critically injured to Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denounced the attack.

In a message to Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, Erdoğan said: "I condemn this attack targeting security and stability in Somalia in the strongest terms."

He added that Turkey remains committed to standing by the government and people of Somalia against terrorism.

Last month Turkey opened a military base to train soldiers in the Horn of Africa nation, its largest base outside Turkish soil.

Saturday's suicide truck attack at Mogadishu's busiest intersection destroyed buildings, restaurants, and hotels.

Mohamed and Somalia's prime minister also called on the public to donate blood at hospitals, setting the example by doing so themselves.

"It was the deadliest explosion in Somali history," Abdisalam Yusuf Guled, former deputy director of Somalia's Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), told Anadolu Agency.

"There will be no accurate accounting of the deceased, injured, or missing anytime soon because there are no facilities in place. But given the time, location, and the magnitude of the explosion, I will not be surprised if the numbers reach into the hundreds."

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