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Somalia Bombing Kills Dozens in Mogadishu

Officials said a truck filled with explosives blew up at a busy intersection in the capital. Shabab militants are suspected in the attack.

Dec 28th 2019 · 1 min read
Somalia Bombing Kills Dozens in Mogadishu

Africa|Somalia Bombing Kills Dozens in Mogadishu

Officials said a truck filled with explosives blew up at a busy intersection in the capital. Shabab militants are suspected in the attack.

Carrying a victim of a car bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Saturday.Credit...Feisal Omar/ReutersDec. 28, 2019Updated 4:43 a.m. ET

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Dozens of people were killed on Saturday when a truck filled with explosives blew up at a busy intersection in the Somalian capital, in the worst attack in the country in years, officials said.

The blast occurred just before 8 a.m. local time at Ex-control Junction, an intersection that connects Mogadishu, the capital, to the rest of southern and southwestern Somalia. Videos posted on social media showed smoke plumes rising from the scene, while others showed covered bodies lined up on a sandy street.

Abdulkadir Adan, the founder of Aamin Ambulance, Somalia’s only free ambulance service, said his team had counted 61 bodies and 50 wounded people. Abdirizak Mohamed, a member of the country’s Parliament, said on Twitter that he had been told that the death toll was over 90.

Mogadishu’s mayor, Omar Mohamud Mohamed, said at a news conference that there had been “many deaths and injuries,” but that the precise death toll was unknown. He said that more than 90 people were wounded, many of them students.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but suspicion fell on the Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al Shabab, which has carried out attacks on hotels, government offices and public spaces in Somalia.

This month, 11 people were wounded when the group assaulted a hotel near the presidential palace in Mogadishu. In July, a suicide attack by Al Shabab fatally wounded Mogadishu’s then-mayor, Abdirahman Omar Osman, a British-Somali citizen.

The Shabab were also suspected in one of the deadliest terrorist strikes in recent years, a double truck bombing in the heart of Mogadishu that killed nearly 600 in October 2017.

Hussein Mohamed reported from Mogadishu and Abdi Latif Dahir from Nairobi, Kenya.

last updated: 2019-12-28@13:12