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Mogadishu: The militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on the Daallo Airlines last week, terming it as a campaign to hit Western targets and Turkish NATO forces present in Somalia.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the group said it carried out the operation "as a retribution for the crimes committed by the coalition of Western crusaders and their intelligence agencies against Muslims of Somalia," Xinhua reported.
The statement came as investigations are underway by the Somali intelligence and US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as the Somali government declared it an act of terror.
The Daallo Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing barely 35 minutes after taking off last week from Mogadishu's Aden Adde Airport.
Over 40 people have been arrested as investigations go on with reports of aviation staff having been involved in the attack.
The group has particularly singled out Turkish interests in Somalia noting that its involvement in the Horn of Africa nation and its alliance in NATO is destroying the religion of Islam in Somalia.
"Turkey, a member of NATO and one of the principal partners of the West in its war against Islam is actively engaged in a destructive form of economic warfare against the Muslims of Somalia," read the statement in part.
Initial reports from the Daallo attack investigations indicate the suspect whose body was sucked out of the plane following the explosion was to board a Turkish airline which has cancelled the flight. (IANS)