According to Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, at least 100 people have been killed and 300 people have been injured as a result of two vehicle bomb explosions that occurred in the capital city of Mogadishu.
The President of Somalia told reporters on Sunday that he believed the number of fatalities from the twin explosions would continue to grow. He pointed the finger of blame at the militant group al-Shabab for carrying out the attacks. The leader of the Somali people stated that among those of their people who were killed “included mothers with their children in their arms, fathers who had medical conditions, students who were sent to study, businessmen who were struggling with the life of their families,” among other victims.
According to the authorities, the incident that took place on Saturday at the bustling intersection of Sobe targeted both the Somali education ministry and a school. A spokeswoman for the police, named Sadiq Doodishe, confirmed to the media that the attack had claimed the lives of women, children, and elderly people. The state-run news agency SONNA says that the independent journalist Mohamed Isse Kona was also killed.
According to police officer Nur Farah, who spoke with the news agency Reuters, the first explosion occurred as it struck the ministry, and then the second explosion took place as ambulances came and people flocked to assist the injured.
A witness named Abdirazak Hassan informed the Associated Press news agency that he was just one hundred meters away when the second explosion took place. “Due to the [number of] fatalities, I was unable to count the bodies that were lying on the ground.” According to him, the first explosion struck the perimeter wall of the education ministry, which was where street sellers and money changers conducted their business.
Windows in the neighborhood were shattered, according to a reporter for Reuters who was in the area of the incident site. The two explosions occurred within minutes of each other. According to him, the tarmac directly outside the building was covered in blood from victims of the explosions. After the explosions, a significant column of smoke began to billow over the location.
On Saturday, the Aamin ambulance service announced that they had gathered at least 35 injured patients for treatment. According to a tweet posted by the director, Abdulkadir Adan, one of the ambulances that had responded to the initial attack was damaged by the second blast. According to him, a driver and a first aid worker were among the injured.
The United Nations Mission in Somalia expressed its condolences to the families of the victims and denounced what it called a “vicious attack” that took place on Saturday. Turkey has issued a condemnation of the “heinous” act, while Qatar has expressed its sympathies and wished the injured a swift recovery. Qatar remains steadfast in its rejection of violence and “terrorists.”
The blasts took place on the same site as the deadliest bombing in Somalia’s history, which took place in October 2017 and claimed the lives of more than 500 people. During that attack, a truck bomb went off in front of a crowded hotel at the K5 junction, which is surrounded by government buildings, restaurants, and kiosks.
Al-Shabab, which is associated with Al-Qaeda and has been fighting in Somalia for more than a decade, wants to overthrow the central government in order to create its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Its goal is to establish its own rule in Somalia. The group employs a campaign of bombings both within Somalia and in other countries as well. This campaign has also been aimed at hotels, stores, and other busy places, as well as military buildings.
Al-Shabab terrorists invaded the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu in August, resulting in a confrontation with government forces that lasted for thirty hours before it was finally resolved. At least twenty people died as a result of the attack, and many more were hurt.
The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheakh Mohamud, has begun an operation against the organization with help from the United States and allied local militias. However, the consequences of this offensive have been limited thus far.