At least 300 killed in Mogadishu terrorist attack

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At least 300 people have been killed in Somalia’s worst terrorist attack in decades.

The death toll from a truck bomb blast in the centre of Mogadishu on Saturday continues to rise. Several hundred kilograms of military grade and homemade explosives were used in the attack – one of the most deadly in the world for many years.

Hundreds killed in Mogadishu blast

By Monday morning, authorities confirmed that at least 300 people had died in the attack, insisting that the actual number will continue to rise. Additional victims are still being dug out of the rubble and many remain missing, while the number of injured victims in critical condition remains unknown.

Rescue workers say a definitive death toll may never be established as the intense heat of the blast means the remains of many people will never be found.

Al-Shabaab blamed

Militant group Al-Shabaab is yet to claim responsibility for the attack but they are the only name on a short list of suspects. Sources close to the Somali government said the truck in question had been stopped at a checkpoint, ready to be searched. But the driver suddenly accelerated and crashed through a barrier where the vehicle then exploded. The blast caused a nearby fuel tanker to ignite, creating huge fireball next to the initial blast zone.

One foreign expert working with the Somali government said the attack was aimed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the extent of the damage caused was likely unexpected to Al-Shabaab.

“That it exploded next to a fuel tanker was just very, very bad luck,” the expert was quoted in the Guardian.

 

Featured image: By ctsnow – Flickr: pictures from an armed convoy trip in Mogadishu, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26256465

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.