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Somalia: Car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia capital kills at least 60

Saturday 28 December 2019, by siawi3

Source: https://www.euronews.com/2019/12/28/car-bomb-in-mogadishu-somalia-capital-kills-at-least-30

Somalia
Car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia capital kills at least 60

By AP

• last updated: 28/12/2019 - 10:03

A civilian who was wounded in the Mogadishu suicide car bomb attack is helped - Copyright
(AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsame)

A car bomb exploded at a busy security checkpoint in Somalia’s capital Saturday morning, killing at least 60 people.

The toll was likely to rise as dozens of wounded people were rushed to hospitals, government spokesman Ismail Mukhtar told The Associated Press. It was one of the deadliest attacks in Mogadishu in recent memory.

Abdiqadir Abdirahman, the director of the Aamin Ambulance service, confirmed the 61 dead and said more than 50 others were wounded.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the blast targeted a tax collection center during the morning rush hour as Somalia returned to work after its weekend.

Children were among the wounded. Also among them were several university students who had been traveling in a bus, Hussein said. Photos from the scene showed the mangled frames of vehicles.

A large black plume of smoke rose above the capital.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab often carries out such attacks. The extremist group was pushed out of Mogadishu several years ago but continues to target high-profile areas such as checkpoints and hotels in the seaside city.

The attack again raises concern about the readiness of Somali forces to take over responsibility for the Horn of Africa country’s security in the coming months from an African Union force.

Al-Shabab, the target of a growing number of U.S. airstrikes since President Donald Trump took office, controls parts of Somalia’s southern and central regions. It funds itself with a ``taxation’’ system that experts describe as extortion of businesses and travelers that brings in millions of dollars a year.

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Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/dozens-killed-mogadishu-car-bomb-attack-police-191228072334950.html

Somalia: Dozens killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

No claim of responsibility for the attack in Somalia capital that injured more than 100 people, including children.

3 hours ago

Photo: There were conflicting reports about the number of casualties from a car bomb explosion in Mogadishu [Feisal Omar/Reuters]

At least 78 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in a car bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday, authorities said.

“The number of the dead from the blast is still increasing, we now have 78 dead and 125 injured,” the director of the private Aamin Ambulance service, Abdukadir Abdirahman Haji, told AFP news agency.

Police officer Mohamed Hussein said the blast targeted a tax collection centre during the morning rush hour.

Those wounded include children and several university students who had been travelling in a bus, Hussein said.

There were conflicting reports about the number of casualties. Speaking to Al Jazeera, the adviser to Mogadishu’s mayor said the death toll “is above 90 at the moment”.

“There are many casualties as well so the death toll is expected to rise,” Hodan Ali said, adding that the explosion took place at the Ex-Control junction.

Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa said Somali police officers were among the casualties.

“We can expect more injuries and casualties once these numbers are officially tallied,” she said, speaking from Nairobi. “A lot of officials are saying their priority is to try to help those who have been injured, trying to get them to hospitals as quickly as possible and then, of course, count the dead.”

Suicide-bomber driving a car laden with explosives detonates at #Mogadishu’s Ex-control Afgoye. Casualties of this horrific blast is yet to clarify. #Somalia. pic.twitter.com/BaHeG44zV2
— Bashiir Maxmud (@BashiirMaxmud) December 28, 2019

Rescuers carried bodies past the twisted wreckage of a vehicle and a minibus taxi smeared with blood.

Three witnesses told Reuters news agency that a small team of Turkish engineers was present at the time of the blast at the Ex-Control checkpoint, constructing a road to the city.

A car belonging to the engineers was destroyed instantly in the blast, the witnesses said.

Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad later tweeted that two of the Turkish engineers died in the blast.

Many of the dead were “students with ambition, and hardworking men and women”, he wrote.

Turkey’s foreign ministry confirmed the death of two of its nationals.
’Scattered dead bodies’

Bodies lay on the ground amid the blackened skeletons of vehicles. At a hospital, families and friends picked through dozens of the dead, gingerly lifting sheets to peer at faces, while hundreds of Mogadishu residents began to donate blood in response to desperate appeals.

Sakariye Abdukadir, who was near the area when the car bomb detonated, said the blast “destroyed several of my car windows”.

“All I could see was scattered dead bodies ... amid the blast and some of them burned beyond recognition.”

Photo: Paramedics and civilians assist a man injured in a car bomb explosion at a security checkpoint as he arrives at a hospital in Mogadishu [Feisal Omar/Reuters]

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo condemned the attack as a “heinous act of terror” and blamed the al-Shabab armed group.

Al-Shabab, which once controlled much of the country, was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and has since lost most of its other strongholds. But its fighters regularly attack sites in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, which has troops in Somalia to battle the armed group.

The attack raises concerns about the readiness of Somali forces to take over responsibility for the country’s security from an African Union force in the coming months.

Somalia has been riven by conflict since a civil war broke out in 1991, but has stabilised somewhat in recent years.

Photo: A man assists a civilian injured at the scene of a car bomb explosion at a checkpoint in Mogadishu [Feisal Omar/Reuters]

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies