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Final death toll rises to 512 in terrorist attack in Somalia

Sadak Mohamed | Anadolu Agency | AFP
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The September 11, 2001 in the United States is the only attack in history that was more lethal

The final death toll for October’s terrorist bombing in Somalia has risen to 512 making it the country’s deadliest attack ever, according an investigating committee.

A month and a half after the truck bombing in Mogadishu, the final death toll marks an increase from the 358 estimated to have been killed in the October 14 attack. Another 312 people were wounded, and 62 remain missing, reported the Associated Press.

Until these numbers were revised, the 2007 attack on Yazidi communities in Iraq, which killed at least 500, was the most deadly terrorist attack since the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Somali government has blamed al-Shabaab, an extremist group with ties to al-Qaida.

According to AP, Somali intelligence officials say that the truck bomb was intended to hit the capital’s airport, where several countries have embassies, but exploded in a crowded street after soldiers fired upon the truck.

The U.S. Defense Department now has 500 personnel, including military, civilians and contractors, in Somalia. According to a CNN report, the personnel are providing support to African forces fighting Al-Shabaab and ISIS.

Since the start of the year, the U.S. has conducted 30 airstrikes in Somalia, mostly targeting al-Shabaab, according to a Voice of America report.

The airstrikes have forced over 10,000 people to flee their homes in Somalia.

“We are seeing a spike in families fleeing fighting that are arriving in overcrowded camps in Mogadishu. The camps are already overfilled with people affected by drought.” Victor Mose, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s country director in Somalia, said.

The VOA reports that the United Nations estimates that half of Somalia is need of humanitarian aid, as the country is contending with a severe drought.

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