Korie and Sadie Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" fame have urged prayers for the victims of Saturday's massive bombing in Mogadishu that killed as many as 320 people and revealed they had left a location close to the attack just hours before it took place.
On Instagram, Korie Robertson said that she and her daughter, Sadie, had traveled to Somalia to help deliver food to 50,000 people in the midst of a severe drought.
"We spent 3 days there and fell in love. The hope-filled work being done in a difficult place was incredibly inspiring, life-changing," she said.
Just a few hours after flying out of Mogadishu, the Robertsons learned that a massive truck bomb had detonated not even a mile from their hotel, killing at least 320 and injuring hundreds more.
"Heartbroken! Reports say it's the worst the city has ever experienced. I'm almost home now and still can't find the words," she said. "Thinking of our new friends there. The mamas, babies, teenagers...strong, kind, beautiful people."
Korie asked for prayers for the "victims, their families, our friends."
"The country is in mourning," she said. "God be with them. #prayformogadishu 'Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,' says the LORD. 'I will protect them from those who malign them.' Psalm 12:5."
Also on Instagram, Sadie said she was "heartbroken" by the attack, which was later claimed by the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab
"I have spent the past 4 days in Mogadishu, Somalia," she said, adding that the four days were filled with "love, connection, friendship, passion, and hope."
She continued, "1 hour after our plane took off this morning a massive bomb went off less than a half mile from the hotel I have been staying at and very near to the homes of all of my friends there. The whole city shook and the whole city is shaken. The area at this point is unrecognizable."
"These new friends of mine are passionate, hopeful, hardworking, beautiful, loving, and human just like you," she said. "They have been through more in life than many of us can understand, but stronger then [sic] many of us will ever be. Today they were hit again. Hard. Nearly 40 people already found dead. Please pray. my heart is broken."
Al-Shabaab militants have carried out dozens of high-profile attacks in Somalia and neighboring Kenya in recent years, including the April 2015 massacre at Kenya's Garissa University in which militants targeted mainly Christian students, killing 148. In February, the group murdered four Christians, beheading one of them, in coastal Kenya.
It's estimated that the Somali-based militants have at least 9,000 jihadis at their disposal. The name translates to "The Youth" in Arabic.
Following Saturday's attacks, the US Embassy in Somalia released a statement saying, "Such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism to promote stability and prosperity for the Somali people and their regional neighbors."
A United States military plane landed in Mogadishu Tuesday with medical and humanitarian aid supplies, according to ABC News, and Somalia's president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, has declared three days of national mourning.