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Man in wheelchair likely suicide bomber who blew hole in Somali flight, then was sucked out engulfed in flames, officials believe.

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A bomb that blew a hole in the side of a Somalian passenger plane was smuggled on board by a passenger in a wheelchair who somehow managed to slip through security, investigators suspect.

The bomber, engulfed in flames, was believed to have been sucked out of plane, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

Witnesses on the ground said they saw a charred body fall to the ground after the blast Wednesday.

Local police have previously said residents of Balad, a town 30 kms north of Mogadishu, found the body of a man who might have been blown out of the Airbus 321.

Somalia’s government identified the missing passenger as Abdullahi Abdisalam Borle, but gave no details about him or how he died.

An unnamed Western diplomat told the Wall Street Journal the man was transferred to a regular seat after boarding, but offered no details how he might have managed to get past security screening.

In a statement issued after a cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arteh said the government would tighten the airport’s security.

Somalia-based terror group Al Shabaab, which has close links to Al Qaeda, is believed behind the attack.

The Airbus A321 was carrying 74 passengers when the explosion struck only minutes into the flight.

The pilot was able to land the plane.

A cellphone video taken by someone on board showed passengers sitting quietly, some wearing oxygen masks, as the plane descended for an emergency landing.

All but four of the passengers originally had tickets with Turkish Airways and were rebooked on the Daallo flight after cancelled flights left them stranded in the Somali capital, Yassin said.

He suggested the Turkish Airlines’ decision to scrap two flights may have been linked to intelligence it received about a possible security threat.

A Turkish Airlines official said there were no cancellations for security reasons.

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Posted February 5, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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