MOGADISHU – The death toll from the deadliest massive twin bomb blasts at a busy junction in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has reached at least 230, according to local Police.   The twin bomb blasts is one of the deadliest attacks since the Islamist al-Shabab group launched its insurgency in 2007.

People running away from a bomb blast in Mogadishu on Saturday, 14 October 2017. Credit: Reuters

Hundreds more are reported wounded after a lorry packed with explosives detonated near the entrance of a hotel in the K5 intersection on Saturday.  The area lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks had some buildings and structures flattened and others on fire.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo declared three days of national mourning and called for donations of blood and funds to victims of Saturday’s attack. At least 100 others were wounded.

A man runs away from a deadly explosion on KM4 Street in Mogadishu’s Hodan district, Somalia, on Saturday, 14 October 2017. Credit: REUTERS/Feisal Omar

“We know some 100 who were injured,” said Mohamed Hussein, a Police official to Reuters, giving combined figures of casualties. He said the toll of the injured was likely to rise.

On Sunday, Police and emergency workers searched the rubble of destroyed buildings in search of victims who may be trapped underneath it. They also recovered dozens of corpses the night before most of which were charred beyond recognition.

First responders on the scene were shocked at the level of devastation by the deadly explosion. Credit: TWITTER/Aamin Ambulance

Local media reports say hundreds of families came to the area on Sunday morning to search for missing loved ones amid the rubbles of one of the largest bomb blasts ever to strike the city.  Rather than allow them access, Police cordoned off the areas for security reasons.

Police also confirmed that 2 hours later, a second bomb blast struck the capital’s Medina (Madina) district killing two people.

Somalia suffered twin massive expositions in Mogadishu, the deadliest in its history. Credit: Reuters/Feisal Omar

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although the Islamist militant group al Shabaab, which is allied to al Qaeda often stages regular attacks in Mogadishu in other parts of the country.

Witnesses at the scene of the main blast say a Safari Hotel collapsed under the power of the blast, trapping its occupants and other people under the rubble.

“It was the biggest blast I have ever witnessed, it destroyed the whole area,” said local resident and witness. Mihidin Ali, to AFP.

Somalia suffered twin massive blasts in Mogadishu on Saturday, 14 October 2017.

Meanwhile, the Director of Madina Hospital, Mohamed Yusuf Hassan said he was shocked by the scale of the attack.  “72 wounded people were admitted to the hospital and 25 of them are in very serious condition.  Others lost their hands and legs at the scene.

“What happened yesterday was incredible.  I have never seen such a thing before and countless people lost their lives.  Corpses were burned beyond recognition,” he said.

Somalia’s Islamic terrorist group, al-Shabab, has been waging a protracted insurgency against U.S-backed government. Credit: AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor, File

The group is waging an insurgency against the U.N.-backed government and its African Union allies in a bid to topple the weak administration and impose its own strict interpretation of Islam.

The militants controlled Mogadishu between 2007 and 2011 but withdrew as fighting raged. African Union peacekeepers also drove them out of most other territory they controlled.



A Reuters report.  Further editing by Manyika Review.

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