Two explosions rocked the Somali capital, Mogadishu. According to the authorities, these were caused by two car bombs located near the city’s Ministry of Education, leaving dozens dead and wounded. In addition, they assured that the Islamist group Al Shabaab was the author of the attack.
A busy intersection in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, was targeted by two car bombs. The attack left dozens of people dead and injured, as announced by local authorities, and hit the Ministry of Education, an intersection and a school.
“At 2:00 pm, Al Shabab terrorists carried out two explosions against civilians, including children, women and the elderly,” police spokesman Sadiq Doodishe said.
The official also assured that he would give the number of dead and wounded later.
Although the Islamist group has not claimed responsibility for the attack, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud also said that it was his responsibility and described the attack as “cruel and cowardly.”
The blasts came on the same day that the president, prime minister and other top officials were meeting to discuss how to combat violent extremism.
The sequence of the two explosions
Police officer Nur Farah told Reuters that the first explosion hit the Ministry of Education, while the second occurred when ambulances arrived and people gathered to help the victims.
While a witness told AP that the first hit the wall of the Ministry where street vendors and other people were located.
“I was 100 meters away when the second explosion happened,” said Abdirazak Hassan. And he added: “I couldn’t count the bodies on the ground because of the number of deaths.”
In addition, an AP journalist noted that the second explosion occurred in front of a busy restaurant during the lunch hour.
What is known about the deceased?
Although authorities have not confirmed the death toll, the state news agency SONNA said the blasts had caused “dozens of civilian casualties, including independent journalist Mohamed Isse Kona.”
Likewise, the Somali Journalists Union (SJS) confirmed the death of the reporter.
For his part, a volunteer from the Medina hospital, Hassan Osman, pointed out that “of the total of at least 30 dead taken to the hospital, the majority are women.”
Aamin’s ambulance service said it had picked up at least 35 injured people.
In the same place, the deadliest explosion five years ago
The point at which the events occurred this Saturday is remembered for the deadliest attack in Somalia that took place in 2017. In that year, a huge truck bomb from the Al Shabab group killed more than 500 people.
That time, the truck exploded in front of a hotel at an intersection that also houses government offices, restaurants and newsstands.
This new attack comes as the new president of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, with the support of the United States and allied local militias, has launched an offensive against the group. The results are still not conclusive.
With Reuters and AP