Over 200 People Killed, At Least 300 Wounded in Twin Truck Bombings in Somalia’s Capital

Somali men carrying the body of a victim on Sunday after a truck bomb exploded outside a hotel at a busy junction in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday.
Mohamed Abdiwahab/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The death toll from twin truck bombings in Somalia’s capital rose to more than 200 on Sunday, officials said, as emergency crews pulled more bodies from burned cars and demolished buildings after the Saturday blasts.

Officials called the explosions on Saturday one of the deadliest attacks to hit the capital, Mogadishu, since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007.

The blasts left at least 300 others wounded, and families scrambled to find missing relatives amid the rubble and in hospitals. The toll was expected to rise.

A former internal security minister, Abdirizak Omar Mohamed, said by phone from Erdogan Hospital, where many of the dead and the injured had been taken, that, “At least 237 people were confirmed killed in yesterday’s attack. There are other people who possibly died of their wounds at other hospitals.”

He also posted the same death toll on Twitter.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared three days of national mourning and called for donations of blood and funds to help the victims.

“Today’s horrific attack proves our enemy would stop nothing to cause our people pain and suffering. Let’s unite against terror,” Mr. Mohamed said on Twitter. He added that flags would be flown at half-staff: “Time to unite and pray together. Terror won’t win.”

“I call on our citizens to come out, extend help, donate blood and comfort the bereaved,” said the president, who donated blood on Sunday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Photos published by the local news media showed scenes of carnage and devastation, with bodies, and bloodied slippers and shoes scattered in the aftermath. Windows of nearby buildings were shattered. Overturned cars burned in the streets.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Hussein Mohamed and Mohamed Ibrahim