Pentagon ready to increase support for Somalia after bomb

WASHINGTON

The US military has said it is ready to boost its support for the Somali government after at least 276 people were killed in a massive truck bomb in Mogadishu.

“We will be prepared to support the government of Somalia when they ask,” a Pentagon spokesperson said. “We are planning what we can provide.”

The US military already has 400 troops on the ground in Somalia providing training and advice for the Somali military and also logistical support.

The US supports the country’s fight against the Shabaab jihadist rebel group, which is believed to have been behind the explosion on Saturday.

No Americans have been identified among the victims of the blast, which took place at a junction in Hodan, a busy commercial district in northwestern Mogadishu that has many shops, hotels and other businesses.

In addition to the 276 killed, at least 300 were injured.

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