RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
It's been a little more than a week since a huge truck bomb exploded in the middle of Somalia's capital, killing more than 350 people. The bombing is being described as Somalia's 9/11, and the tragedy has Somalis taking stock. Here's NPR's Eyder Peralta.
EYDER PERALTA, BYLINE: Mombasa in Kenya is down the coast from Mogadishu and the home of a big Somali community. At this outdoor market, they sell sweets and fabrics, and the talk is still of the attacks of October 14th. Uda Abdi Mohamud says she hasn't talked much about it because it hurts so much. But it's time, she says, that Somalis face some hard truths.
UDA ABDI MOHAMUD: (Through interpreter) Somalis have the tendency of blaming the West, but that's a lie. The government that has been formed which we had hope with is being interfered by nothing other than the local Somalis who are living in Somalia.
PERALTA: Abdi Aynte, a former government minister, says this attack is especially devastating because Somalia had swelled with hope. Mogadishu had been mostly secured by the government, and investment had started pouring in as Somalis in the diaspora saw peace on the horizon.
ABDI AYNTE: This is sending them a message that this place is inhospitable, simply unsafe and so on. And that is the measurable impact beyond the immediate one, which is the death and the destruction.
PERALTA: Aynte says this attack will change Somalia. For instance, the government is already set to announce a more aggressive offensive that goes into Al-Shabaab strongholds.
(SOUNDBITE OF MARKETPLACE CHATTER)
PERALTA: Back at the market, I find Sadiya Abdi. She's lived in Kenya for 20 years and has always dreamed of going back home. Oddly, she says, this attack gives her hope.
SADIYA ABDI: (Speaking foreign language).
PERALTA: She hopes the attack will unite Somalis, and one day, with the help of God, she says, she'll go back to a great nation. Eyder Peralta, NPR News, Mombasa.
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