Skip to content

DEC 3, 2009 In Memory: Attack on graduation ceremony kills scores in Mogadishu

Storyline:National News, Security

Ten years ago, this day, the dreams of young Somali medical graduates and the nation at large was nipped in the bud when a suicide bomber detonated a suicide vest during a graduation ceremony at Hotel Shamo in Mogadishu.

The bombing killed scores of graduating medical students from Banaadir University and three government ministers- Qamar Aden Ali (Health) Education Minister Ahmed Abdulahi Waayeel and Higher Education Minister Ibrahim Hassan Addow. Sports Minister Saleban Olad Roble was critically injured.

The attacker, disguised as a woman sat in the room where the ceremony was ongoing before he lurched into the dais and blew up leaving death, destruction and shattered dreams in its wake. Somalia would live to witness several similar attacks even after the militant group Al-Shabaab which did claim responsibility was ejected from the capital Mogadishu.

Surviving students narrated to the media loss and pain of losing their fellow students as parents were weighed down by the shock and horror which visited them during a day of celebration.

President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed sounded firm and determined to hit back at the militants as condolences from across the world came through. The fighting which had begun in 2007 had to that day killed an estimated 19,000 people and pushed out 1.5 million others from their homes.

True to his word, with the support of AU forces, Ahmed’s government managed to uproot the militants from Mogadishu two years later in 2011.

The group has since inflicted much more pain on the country with Mogadishu suffering the most. A truck bombing on October 14, 2017, wiped out over 600 people in Mogadishu among them students who were preparing to graduate.

That and many others, however, haven’t killed the resolve of a wounded city and nation to rid itself of terror. Mogadishu and Somalia live to fight on for a better future.