Somali authorities say the body of a seven month-old boy has been recovered the rubble three days after an al-Shabab attack killed at least 25 people in Mogadishu last Thursday.
The boy identified as Munasar Mohamed, was with his mother who worked at a beauty salon on Maka al-Mukarama road when the militants detonated a powerful car bomb as part of a complex attack involving suicide bombers
The blast brought down multi-story buildings and destroyed structures alongside the busy road.
Somali security forces Friday ended the al-Shabab siege of a residential building in Mogadishu after battling the militants for almost 24 hours.
The owner of the beauty salon, who didn’t want to be named for fear of her safety, said there were 16 people in her salon when the explosion went off just after 8pm on Thursday.
She said they helped the injured before security forces arrived to evacuate them. The boy was the only person in the group who didn’t make out of the building.
After finial searches the boy couldn't be located. His body was finally discovered on Sunday after rescuers viewed CCTV footage showing the boy's last movements and location in the building.
The owner said the boy has been in the salon with his mother since he was born. “His mom was working at my beauty salon since he was born,” she said.
The beauty salon owner said she knows more than 10 people from nearby shops who died in the explosion.
Mogadishu’s ambulances services which evacuated the dead and wounded recorded 25 deaths and 131 people injured. Of the injured, 21 are females.
During the attack al-Shabab constantly claimed that their fighters targeted one of the biggest hotels known as Maka Al-Mukarama but it became clearer that the militants entered a two-story building next to the hotel. Whether that was intentional or the militant missed their target is not clear.
In a statement on Sunday, al-Shabab claimed they killed 45 government officials in the hotel. Al-Shabab also falsely claimed that no civilians were killed.
Security sources say all but two of the victims were civilians. The two were security personnel deployed to participate in the operation to end the militants’ siege.
Information Minister Dahir Mohamud Gelle said al-Shabab has no regard for the safety of any human being regardless of age and field of work.
“You are not safe from al-Shabab if you are young, elderly, civilian or soldier,” he said. “Whether you are walking in the street or in your home, you are not safe from al-Shabab. They have no regard for you whether you are fighting against them or not.”
Al-Shabab has conducted similar deadly attacks in the capital for years now, but successive governments have not yet succeeded in finding a strategy to stop the militant group.