MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday that the governor’s residence will be lit blue in honor of the hundreds of people killed over the weekend in the worst terrorist attack in Somalia’s history.
The explosion happened Saturday in Mogadishu, the capital of the Horn of Africa nation, and it killed over 300 people, including one Minnesota man. Hundreds more were injured.
No group has taken responsibility for the attack, but the Somali government suspects that the Al-Qaed-linked Al-Shabab was behind it.
In a statement, Dayton called the attack “terrible,” noting that many of the victims have friends and family in Minnesota, which is home to the largest Somali diaspora population in the U.S.
“On behalf of all Minnesotans, we join those mourning the senseless loss of loved ones, and those praying for recovery,” the governor said.
Dayton also urged Minnesotans to keep the family of Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow – the Minnesotan killed in the attack – in their thoughts and prayers.
Eyow was born in Somalia but had lived in Minnesota for years. He leaves behind a wife and three children.
According to his mosque, the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Eyow was in Somalia searching for a job to stabilize the country. He had just arrived in Mogadishu when the truck bomb exploded just outside his hotel.
The governor’s mansion is being lit blue, because blue is the color of the Somali flag.
The Interstate 35W bridge is not being lit up in honor of those killed in Mogadishu due to a technology update, according to a Facebook post from state Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American legislator to be elected in the U.S.
“Perhaps we could plan to memorialize the victims of this attack on a future date,” she said. “Stay tuned!”