An explosion that caused a large hole on the fuselage of a passenger plane after it took off from Somalia’s main airport on Tuesday, forcing it to make an emergency landing, was caused by a bomb, officials said.
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“Additional investigations conducted by Somali and international experts have confirmed the explosion that occurred inside the Daallo Airlines (jet) was not a technical problem but was a bomb that was intended to destroy the plane and kill all passengers on board,”Transport and Aviation Minister Ali Ahmed Jama said.
The Airbus A321 belonging to Daallo Airlines was headed for Djibouti.
A passenger identified as Abdulahi Abdisalam was killed, probably after being propelled out of the aircraft in the explosion, investigators said. Two out of around 60 passengers on board were slightly injured.
Mohamed Hassan, a police officer in Balad, an agricultural town 30km (18 miles) north of Mogadishu, said residents had found the body of a man who might have fallen from the plane.
Reports attributed to the pilot, a 64-year-old Serb named Vladimir Vodopivec, said he was convinced the blast had been caused by a bomb.
In their initial investigation, the Somali authorities attributed the blast to sudden air decompression.
Daallo Airlines operates out of Djibouti, flying to destinations in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf.
No group has claimed responsibility but Somalia is battling militant Islamist group Al-Shabab that has been carrying out deadly attacks in its quest to establish an Islamic state