The suicide attack that rocked the Somali capital Mogadishu on Tuesday (October 4th), and left dozens of people dead and wounded, unleashed a broad wave of condemnation from Yemeni politicians, academics and scholars, as well as from Somali refugees in Yemen.
The blast targeted a compound of government buildings in Mogadishu, killing more than 100 people and wounding at least 150. The victims included many of the country's most talented students who had gathered to learn the results of examinations that would have qualified them for university scholarships provided by Turkey.
Al-Shabab, a Somali movement with links to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack. The group spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage, vowed more attacks against "the enemy" and identified the suicide bomber who drove the explosive-laden truck as Bashar Abdulahi Nur.
Nur reportedly gave an interview to an al-Shabab-run radio station before the attack and claimed that young people should wage jihad and forget about education, wire services reported.
In the interview, Nur said those who go to be schooled abroad are distracted from their religion and "don't think about the hereafter".
This marks the first attack for which al-Shabab has claimed responsibility since it was forced out of the capital by government troops backed by an African Union (AMISOM) force in August.
Abdo al-Janadi, Deputy Minister of Information and Yemeni government spokesman, told Al-Shorfa that the Yemeni government strongly condemns this terrorist act and stands by Somalia.
"Yemen and Somalia stand together in the same trench against the terrorist elements of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations," he said.
Al-Janadi called for continued international support for governments involved in the fight against terrorism, particularly Yemen and Somalia.
He said al-Shabab provides support to al-Qaeda in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan.
"Yemen has been harmed by al-Shabab, which sponsors terrorist acts rejected by all Abrahamic religions and international laws and norms in the world," he said.
Judge Saba al-Hajji, member of the Yemen Scholar Association, told Al-Shorfa that the attack was "without question a forbidden act condemned by all religions and laws".
"There is no justification for the violence al-Shabab committed. It has no relation whatsoever to jihad, especially as it impacted the lives of students and innocent civilians. Therefore, we reject those acts altogether," al-Hajji said.
Dr. Saeed al-Jamhi, president of Al-Jamhi Centre for Studies and Research and a researcher specialising in Islamist groups, said the approach of the Somali terrorists is the same as al-Qaeda's.
"What benefit did al-Shabab movement derive from this operation, other than exacerbate the woes of the Somali people and anger the world over the attacks against innocent and defenceless people?" al-Jamhi asked.
He said that such terrorist acts distort the image of Islam, especially among non-Muslims.
Abdul Hafeez al-Nahari, deputy head of the Media Department of the ruling Congress Party, told Al-Shorfa that the party condemns all acts of violence, including the recent attack in Mogadishu.
"This terrorist incident has frustrated all African and Arab efforts being made to bring peace back to Somalia, and terrorist acts such as these mirror the terrorist methods insisted upon by al-Qaeda's forces of darkness, extremism and terrorism," al-Nahari said.
According to Mohammed Abdul-Malik al-Mutawakkil, member of the Supreme Council of Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), the terrorist act carried out by al-Shabab movement was "a bad move because it used violence, which is the worst and most horrific path to achieving political ends". Al-Mutawakkil said that peaceful struggle is the only way to attain stated objectives.
A number of Somali refugees in Yemen expressed their condemnation of the terrorist operation carried out by al-Shabab.
"The Somali people are not lacking in humanitarian disasters and tragedies," said Mohammed Mueish, 70, from Hiran province north of Mogadishu.
He told Al-Shorfa that waging war against civilians is not accepted by laws or religions, and described the recent terrorist attack against unarmed civilians as "brutal, barbaric, [by people who have not] a shred of humanity".
Ahmed Mahmoud of the town of Jowhar, north of Mogadishu, said that what happened to the students and civilians in the government compound was a "brutal terrorist" act.
"Whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is hell to abide therein', and we as Muslims must condemn this incident. Even if the perpetrator is a brother of mine, he must be punished for his act," Mahmoud said.
Faki Mahmoud, 25, of Mogadishu, said that his family had contacted him after the incident to warn him about the situation in Somalia.
"Sadness has descended upon Mogadishu," he said. "Grief pervades every house as a result of the catastrophe that took place, which has also renewed the grief of those who lost relatives in similar incidents or whose relatives were displaced to other countries to save their lives from the al-Shabab movement, which gives young people the choice of either joining them or being killed."