Somalia: at least 100 killed, 300 injured in “heinous” Mogadishu car bombing
There has been huge increase in death toll from the two successive car bombings in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu Saturday (29 October), blamed on the Al-Qaeda-allied al-Shabab terrorist organization, which has seen at least 100 killed and close to 300 others injured.
Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud made the announcement after visiting the site of the attack in the early hours of Sunday (30 October). The car bombings targeted the Education Ministry, located at one of the busiest intersections in the capital. He urged the public to go to the hospitals and donate blood for those injured in the attack and appealed to the international community to send doctors and medical supplies to treat the wounded. Mohamud also vowed to give free education to the children left behind by the victims killed in the attacks as well as the children of deceased victims of other al-Shabab attacks. In a tweet before visiting the site, Mohamud condemned the attack, saying it was a “cruel & cowardly terrorist attack on innocent people by the morally bankrupt & criminal Al-Shabab group.”
This latest attack comes as government forces supported by local fighters continue multi-front offensives to recover territories from the group in south-central Somalia. A police spokesperson told reporters that women, children and the elderly had been killed in the attack. State news agency SONNA said independent journalist Mohamed Isse Kona was also killed. The explosions occurred in the same location as Somalia’s largest bombing in October 2017, which killed more than 500 people. In that bombing, a truck bomb exploded outside a busy hotel at the K5 intersection, which is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks. Al-Shabab, which has been fighting in Somalia for more than a decade, is seeking to topple the central government and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Mohamud, with support from the United States and allied local militias, has launched an offensive against the group, although results have been limited.