Minister says Somali plane blast caused by bomb

Somali passenger plane hit by blast this week, caused by bomb meant to kill all on board, minister says

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

A picture taken on February 3, 2016 shows a plane operated by Daallo Airlines, after it made an emergency landing on February 2 in Mogadishu following a blast.

A blast that punched a hole in the fuselage of a passenger plane on Tuesday after it took off from an airport at Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, was caused by a bomb, which was meant to kill everyone on board, the country’s minister for transport and aviation said on Saturday.

One passenger died and two others were wounded in the explosion on the Airbus A321 heading to Djibouti with around 60 passengers.

The airplane, operated by the Somali company, Daallo Airlines, was forced to make an emergency landing at Mogadishu Airport.

"We have confirmed that it was a bomb that exploded in the Daallo Airlines flight. It was meant to kill all aboard," the minister, Ali Ahmed Jamac, told a news conference.

He said that authorities were pursuing suspects, without going into further detail.

United States investigators believe that the attack was conducted by the Al Shabab militant group -Al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia- however, there has been no comment from the organisation.

The militant group, which wants to topple the government is considered a “terrorist organisation” by the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and NATO.

On January 21, Al Shabab militants stormed a popular beachside restaurant in Mogadishu, detonating two car bombs that left at least 20 people dead.

Somali has been able to drive the group out of major strongholds with the help of African forces, but the group still continues to launch attacks against officials and civilians.

TRTWorld and agencies