Somali authorities on Sunday executed a man in connection with last year’s deadly bomb attack in the capital, Mogadishu.
Hassan Adan Isaq was executed by a firing squad on the first anniversary of the attack that killed nearly 600 people.
A Somali military judge said Isaq was a member of the al-Shabaab group and drove one of the vehicles that detonated at Zobe junction in Mogadishu on October 14, 2017.
No group said it carried out the attack, although Somalia’s government blamed it on al-Shabab.
Shortly after the convicted man was executed, mourners gathered to pray at the site of last year’s blast, which has been renamed “October 14 Junction” in honour of the victims.
The blast was described as the bloodiest in Somalia’s history and one of the world’s worst attacks since 9/11.
Nicholas Haysom, the new UN envoy to Somalia, described the blast as “the deadliest ever terrorist attack in Africa, and such terrorist attacks amount to a war crime”.
The United States called the attack “sickening” and vowed to continue to collaborate to “overcome terrorism and promote stability and prosperity.”
On Sunday, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo traveled to the southern port town of Merca to mark the anniversary with a military brigade formed by young men who volunteered for service following the attack, presidential spokesman Abdinur Mohamed told The Associated Press.
A day earlier, al-Shabab said it carried out two bomb attacks that killed at least 20 people in the city of Baidoa, about 250 kilometres west of Mogadishu.
The Horn of Africa nation collapsed into chaos in 1991 after clan-based militia overthrew the military regime of President Siad Barre.