MOGADISHU, Somalia—Two car bombs exploded on Saturday at a busy intersection near a major government building in the Somali capital, causing “several civilian casualties” including children, the state said. Police said. One of the hospital workers she said there could be more bodies, so at least he counted 30 bodies.
The attacks in Mogadishu are being held as the president, prime minister and other senior officials discuss expanded efforts to combat violent extremism by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab terrorist group, which often targets the capital in particular. It happened on the day I was meeting with It also came five years after another massive explosion that killed more than 500 people in the exact same location.
There was no immediate claim of liability. Al-Shabaab rarely claims attacks that have killed large numbers of civilians, like the 2017 explosion. But President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud singled out al-Shabaab, calling the attack “cruel and cowardly”.
Hassan Osman, a volunteer at Medina Hospital, said, “Of the at least 30 dead people who have been taken to the hospital, the majority are women. I have seen this with my own eyes.” And desperate relatives would peek under plastic sheets and in body bags looking for their loved ones.
Armin Ambulance Service said it had collected at least 35 injured people. One ambulance that responded to the first attack was destroyed in his second explosion, Abdul Qadir added in a tweet.
“I was 100 meters away when the second explosion happened,” said eyewitness Abdirazak Hassan. “The bodies on the ground were countless. [number of] fatalities. He said the first blast hit the perimeter wall of the Ministry of Education, where street vendors and money changers were located.
An Associated Press journalist at the scene said the second explosion occurred in front of a crowded restaurant at lunchtime.The blast destroyed tuk-tuks and other vehicles in an area lined with many restaurants and hotels. . He said he saw “many” corpses that appeared to be civilians traveling on public transport.
The Somali Journalists Syndicate said one journalist was killed and two others injured in the second blast when they rushed to the scene of the first blast, citing colleagues and the police.
The attack took place at Zobe Junction, the site of a massive al-Shabaab truck bombing that killed more than 500 people in 2017.
The government of Somalia is engaged in a high-profile new attack against the terrorist group, which the US describes as one of al-Qaeda’s deadliest organisations. The president described it as an “all-out war” against militants that control much of central and southern Somalia and have been the target of US airstrikes in recent years.
Militants responded by killing prominent clan leaders in an attempt to discourage support for the government’s attack.
Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre on Saturday said the attack would not weaken the popular uprising against al-Shabaab, and he and the president expressed the government’s determination to wipe out the terrorist group.