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Embassy continues its work in aftermath of car bombing

Zhang Yunbi in Beijing and Hou Liqiang in Mogadishu
Updated: Jul 29,2015 7:36 AM     China Daily

China has sent a mission to bring home the body of the Chinese embassy security staff member killed in a car bombing in Somalia and dispatched a working group to tackle the aftermath, the Foreign Ministry said on July 28.

The suicide bombing at the gate of the Jazeera Palace Hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on July 26 killed at least 15 people, including the Chinese embassy staffer in charge of security and safety precautions, and injured three other embassy staff members.

A group of photos believed to feature the scene went viral on China’s leading social network Sina Weibo after they were posted on the night of July 27 by a Chinese diplomat.

The diplomat, posting under the user name @xingzheyuyang, said the pictures were taken by colleagues at the Chinese embassy in Somalia.

In the photos, embassy staff members wear helmets and bulletproof jackets, and some have bandages. Netizens made close to 1,000 comments on the photos.

The hotel housed diplomatic missions, including the Chinese embassy, in the turmoil-filled country.

China condemned the attack on July 27, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang confirmed that embassy staff members had been transferred to a safe area.

The ministry confirmed on July 28 that the overall situation of the embassy staff there is good, saying that “the current priority of the embassy is affairs regarding emergency treatment” and that the embassy will “get work in other fields done”.

Tension still ran high on July 28 in Mogadishu, where it took at least four security checks for visitors to leave the airport, and there were more police officers than civilians on the streets around hotels where foreigners stayed.

Yuan Tiecheng, founder and CEO of Riskon International, a security company based in Beijing, said such suicide attacks are usually made after the terrorists have scouted the site and made preparations.

“The existing threats obviously have posed a serious challenge to diplomatic missions based there,” Yuan said.

On July 27, the UN Security Council condemned the attack “in the strongest terms” and offered its condolences to the people and governments of Somalia and China.