MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Hundreds of mourners and government officials in Mogadishu gathered at the capital's Police School on Thursday to mourn the 79 people killed by a tragic truck bomb last week.
Somali government officials and residents marched through Mogadishu's streets to show solidarity with those who lost their loved ones in the bombing that was the country's biggest and most deadly in two years. Several mourners said that they reject terrorism.
Women and men carried flags and placards denouncing the killings. "Evil-doers are not our sons" and “Collaborate with the security forces” read some of the posters in the Somali language.
Somalia's al-Shabab Islamic extremist rebels claimed responsibility for the weekend bomb at a busy checkpoint in which many of those killed were university students.
Mogadishu mayor Omar Filish, the mayor of Mogadishu who organized the event, told the crowd that the perpetrators of the attack failed to destroy the spirit of the Somali people and instead increased their anger at the extremist group.
”We will not cry but we will take revenge for the blood of the innocents killed in that truck bomb," said Filish.
“We need to apprehend the al-Shabaab terrorists in their hiding places and assist each other to fight them,” said Dahir Jesow, a member of Somalia's parliament. "They are trigger happy. We all need to be soldiers. Let’s promise to unite our fight against them.”