Thousands of anguished Somalis gathered to pray Friday at the site of the country's deadliest attack, while the toll rose to 358 and dozens remained missing. Somalia's president will announce a "state of war" against the al-Shabab extremist group blamed for the bombing, the prime minister said.
The United States is expected to play a supporting role in the new offensive that President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is set to launch on Saturday, a Somali military official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
Somalia's army spokesman Capt. Abdullahi Iman said the offensive involving thousands of troops will try to push al-Shabab fighters out of their strongholds in the Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions where many deadly attacks on Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, and on Somali and African Union bases have been launched.
Also Friday, the U.S. military said it had resumed its fight against al-Shabab with a drone strike.