The bomb went off at dusk just as everyone was preparing for evening prayer. I was only a few blocks away from its epicenter and felt the reverberation to my core.
A car bomb had been driven into Mogadishu’s Hotel Ambassador in Somalia as a precursor to a sustained attack by al-Shabaab gunmen that would last for several hours. The sound of sporadic gun-fire could be heard throughout the night. By the time we awoke, 16 people had been reported killed, including two parliamentarians. One of my co-workers was among the dead.
The attack occurred a few days before the advent of Ramadan and a day before a visit by Turkish President Erdogan that would mark Somalia’s development. The strategy behind this terror attack, like many others, was to spread an indelible fear among the public.