The department of international relations and co-operation has issued a statement condemning “in the strongest possible terms” Saturday’s attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, which killed more than 300 people and injured hundreds of others.
The statement included a message of condolence to all those affected – “the Somali government as well as the families of the deceased” – and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
The department has said that “the South African government will continue to work with other member states of the African Union and the United Nations to explore long-term solutions to the scourge of terrorism and extremism”.
The bomb attack has been declared the deadliest since al-Shabab launched its insurgency in 2007. Typically, each attack by al-Shabab will kill on average between two and three people. But, according to Al Jazeera, the deadliest attack was in February when 39 people were killed after a car bomb was detonated in a Mogadishu market.
Al-Shabab has carried out more than 360 attacks in Somalia over the past decade. The group is tied to al-Qaeda and is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s UN-backed government in a bid to impose its own strict interpretation of Islam.
In Saturday’s attack, a truck packed with military-grade and homemade bombs exploded outside the Safari Hotel. Two hours later, another blast struck at another junction in the city.
No group has taken responsibility for the attack but Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo has blamed the attack on al-Shabab, calling it a “heinous act”.
As of Monday morning, Mogadishu is receiving aid from Turkey and support from non-profit organisation Aamin Ambulance, which has given four ambulances to ferry the wounded.
The United Kingdom, the United States, France, Canada and the AU have offered their condolences and have promised to continue fighting terror.
The president declared three days of mourning and appealed to “all Somali people to come forward and donate blood” so that hospitals can help those injured.