Car bombs at Somali education ministry leave scores of casualties

MOGADISHU, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Two car bombs exploded at an education ministry in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Saturday, police and state media said.

Officials said the Islamist group al Shabaab carried out the attack, which they said targeted educational institutions, intersections and schools.

“At 2:00 p.m. terrorists al-Shabaab carried out two explosions on civilians, including children, women and the elderly,” police spokesman Sadiq Doodishe said. .

Doodishe said the police will identify the dead and the injured later. The state news agency SONNA, said that the blast had left “scores of victims including independent journalist Mohamed Isse Kona”.

The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) has confirmed that Kona, a television reporter, has been killed.

The first explosion hit the office then the second explosion occurred when an ambulance arrived and people gathered to help the victims, police officer Nur Farah told Reuters.

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Another officer in charge of the operation, who gave his name as Hassan, told Reuters that he found at least 12 bodies and more than 20 wounded.

A Reuters reporter near the blast site said the two explosions occurred within minutes of each other and shattered windows nearby. Blood from the victims of the blasts covered the tarmac outside the building, he said.

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Moments after the blasts a large plume of smoke rose from the place.

“The second bomb burned three ambulances when we came to transport the injured from the first blast,” Abdikadir Abdirahman of the Aamin Ambulance Service told Reuters.

The driver and a first aid worker were injured in the explosion, he said.

The attack happened at the same place where Somalia’s biggest bombing took place in the same month of 2017.

In the bombing, which killed more than 500 people, a bomb exploded outside a busy hotel at the K5 intersection which is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks.

Al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab, which has been fighting in Somalia for more than a decade, is seeking to overthrow the central government and establish its own regime based on a strict interpretation of sharia law.

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The group used a campaign of bombings in Somalia and elsewhere and the targets have included military facilities as well as hotels, shops, and bus stops.

In August at least 20 people were killed and many others were injured when al Shabaab militants attacked the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu, leading to a 30-hour standoff with security forces before the evacuation. in the end.

Somalia’s new president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, with the support of the United States and local militias, began to fight the group although the results were limited.

Directed by Abdi Sheikh; Written by Elias Biryabarema; Edited by Alison Williams and Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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