BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- A Minnesota man was one of more than 270 people killed in a pair of truck bombings in Somalia's capital.
As of Sunday night, there were 276 confirmed deaths and 300 others injured, according to the country's information minister. It's being described as the deadliest single attack in the Horn of Africa nation. The government blamed the extremist group al-Shabab but no one has taken responsibility yet.
Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow, 50, of Bloomington, had only been at his hotel in Mogadishu for a few hours when the attack happened.
"We miss him so much and I want people to know he was a great father," said Eyow's wife, Ruun Abdi.
Eyow also leaves behind three children: Yonis, 14; Yusra, 13; and Yahya, 10.
"He loved America and he loved Somalia," Abdi said.
A native of Somalia, Eyow became a refugee when he fled the country after the government collapsed in the early 1990s. He eventually settled in Minnesota in 1998.
He earned a bachelor's degree in human services last year and was working as a welder. Eyow was interested in finding a job with the United Nations to help bring stability back to Somalia.
Bashir Eyow said his brother was visiting Somalia looking for possible opportunities. He left Minnesota on Oct. 7 and had arrived in Somalia on Saturday, only a few hours before the bombings occurred. It was supposed to be a short trip.
"I'm very, very sad today," Bashir Eyow said.
Officials at Eyow's mosque, the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, say he was a beloved member of the community.
"Ahmed was one of our most effective and active community members in our center," said Mohamed Omar, executive director of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center.
According to Jaylani Hussein, executive director for the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), other community members have told him they also lost loved ones in the attack.
"So we are still learning more. As you can tell, this is a very sad day not only for this community but really for the entire Somali-American population in the United States and across the world," Hussein said.
The Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Eyow's family:
"He left MN on Saturday, October 7, 2017 with great hope, looking forward to a chance to make a difference in his home country. He landed in Kenya, visiting with family for about a week until moving on to Mogadishu, Somalia yesterday, Saturday October 14, 2017. He was back in his hometown for only a few hours, checking into his hotel and laying down to rest when the biggest bomb blast that Somalia has heard in recent history tore the the hotel apart and took his life."
The Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center will also hold a community event on Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m. at the center in Bloomington to support the family.
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