, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – Fourteen people are admitted to the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi with serious injuries following a suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu four days ago.
The victims include the Transitional Federal Governments’ Sports Minister Suleyman Olad Roble who is said to be in a critical condition at the hospitals Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Addressing journalists after visiting the patients, United States envoy Michael Ranneberger said his government would continue to support Somali Transitional Federal Government and would not allow the kind of extremism and intimidation seen last week.
“Essentially the international community has agreed to pay the expenses (of those admitted in hospital) although I am yet to get the full details,” Mr Ranneberger said.
“We continue to believe and remain confident that the Transitional Federal Government will be able to expand its authority and eventually promote peace and stability in a democratic transition throughout Somalia,” he added.
More than 20 people attending a graduation ceremony in the Somali capital died in the attack while dozens others were seriously wounded.
Somalia\’s government later announced three days of mourning after the President, Prime Minister and other top Somali officials held an emergency meeting at the presidential palace.
“We actually think that the (al) Shabaab is becoming weaker. When an organisation results to this suicide type of attacks, that shows a degree of desperation,” the US ambassador said.
“We are also hearing that the Shabaab is forcefully recruiting young people to fight – equivalent of child soldiers. That is another sign of desperation so I think over time we are going to see the Transitional Federal Government moving out and expanding its authority,” he stated.
Mr Ranneberger however emphasised that the US government had no intention of providing troops for Somalia.
The Thursday bomb attack was carried out by a male suicide bomber dressed as a woman and is suspected to have been a member of the al-Shabaab militia group, although the group has denied links with the attack.
The Ministers of Education Ahmed Abdullahi Wayel, Higher Education Ibrahim Hassan Adow and Qamar Aden Ali of Health were killed in the blast.