Somalia executes man on blast anniversary

A man convicted of involvement in the deadliest bomb attack in Somalia’s history has been executed on the first anniversary of the blast.

Hassan Adan Isak drove one of the vehicles involved in the attack on the capital, Mogadishu, a court ruled.

Nearly 600 people were killed when a truck filled with explosives was detonated at one of the busiest intersections in the city.

A commemorative ceremony was held at the intersection on Sunday.

It has been renamed 14 October junction in memory of those who died there.

A general view shows the scene of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia October 14, 2017
A truck packed with explosives killed nearly 600 people in Mogadishu on 14 October 2017: REUTERS

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, although correspondents say all indications are that the militant Islamist al-Shabab group was responsible.

Saturday evening saw two suicide bombers kill 20 people in the town of Baidoa, in the south west of the country. Dozens were injured.

Al-Shabab said it had carried out the attack.

Meanwhile, the first commercial flight between the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and Mogadishu in 41 years has taken place.

A plane from private airline Ethiopia National Airways landed at the Somali capital’s Aden Adde airport on Saturday, the first of a planned four flights a week,

It is the latest sign of improving relations between the two neighbouring Horn of Africa countries.

Mayor of Mogadishu, Abdirahman Omar Osman (3rd L), and CEO of Ethiopias National Airways, Abera Lemi (3rd R), celebrate after the first commercial flight by National Airways linking Addis Ababa to Mogadishu in 41 years landed at Aden Abdulle international airport in Mogadishu, on October 13, 2018
The flight’s arrival was celebrated by local dignitaries and the airline’s CEO: AFP
  

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