MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota man is one of the several hundred people dead after a truck bomb went off Saturday in his native Somalia in what is being described as the deadliest terror attack in the East African country’s history.
Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow was resting in his Mogadishu hotel when the blast ripped the building apart and killed him. His mosque, the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, says that Eyow leaves behind a wife and three children in Minnesota.
Eyow was one of 231 people to die in the explosion in Somalia’s capital. Officials told The Associated Press Sunday that the death toll is expected to rise as nearly 300 people were also wounded in the attack.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility. However, the Somali government has blamed the ISIS-linked terror group Al-Shabab.
According to the Bloomington mosque, Eyow was born in Somalia, fled the country amid unrest in the early ‘90s and came to settle in Minnesota in 1998.
After completing his degree in human services last year, Eyow had sought to find a job with the United Nations in an effort to “bring stability back” to Somalia. He left the U.S. on a work-finding trip last week and only arrived in Mogadishu hours before the bomb went off.
“I am very, very sad today,” said Bashir Eyow, Ahmed’s brother, before he was overcome with emotion.
Bashir said his brother was visiting Somalia for a short trip. He said Ahmed was in Mogadishu no more than three hours when a truck bomb exploded outside the hotel where he had just checked in. His body was found hours later buried in the rubble.
“Ahmed was one of our most effective and active community members in our center,” said Mohamed Omar, executive director of the Dar Al-Farooq Community Center in Bloomington.
Omar said Ahmed would visit the center often with his family.
“We miss him so much,” said his wife, Ruun Abdi. “I want people (to) know he was a great father, he has two jobs, helping us very much. He work so hard.”
Family members say Ahmed was working towards getting his master’s degree. They said he was already a certified welder, but had aspirations to work for the United Nations and help rebuild his home country. Ahmed is the only Minnesotan believed to have been killed in the explosion, said Jaylani Hussein, the executive director for Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).
But he said many from the local Somali community in the Twin Cities have relatives back home who also died in what is being described as the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history.
“Our community today wants to remind our fellow Minnesotans that terrorism has no faith, that as a community we have to be united in the face of this great evil,” Hussein said.
The mosque has started a GoFundMe page to help Eyow’s family. They say he was the family’s only breadwinner and also supported relatives in Somalia.