According to Somalia’s president, the country’s bloodiest attack since a truck bombing at the exact location five years ago killed more than 500 people. At least 100 people were killed in Saturday’s two-car explosions at a famous intersection in the capital.
At the scene of the blasts in Mogadishu, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud informed reporters that almost 300 additional people had been hurt. We can’t transport all the victims outside the nation for treatment. Therefore, he said that we beg our international allies and Muslims worldwide to send their medical professionals here.
The terrorist group al-Shabab, which has ties to al Qaeda and frequently attacks the capital and governs vast portions of the nation, claimed responsibility and stated that it was the ministry of education it had targeted. It noted that the church was an “enemy base” that was “dedicated to pulling Somali children from the Islamic faith” and that non-Muslim nations supported it.
Al-Shabab often avoids taking credit for mass casualty attacks like the 2017 explosion. Still, it has become incensed by the government’s high-profile current offensive that also attempts to shut down its financial network. The group urged civilians to avoid government buildings and declared it is committed to fighting until Islamic law is implemented nationwide. According to the newly elected president, the Republic of Somalia is still at war with al-Shabab, and “we are winning.”
The president, prime minister, and other senior officials were meeting that day to discuss stepping up efforts to combat violent extremism, particularly al-Shabab when the Mogadishu incident occurred. In response to the attack, the extremists, who want to establish an Islamic state, have killed key clan leaders in an apparent effort to erode popular support.
First responders in Somalia, which has one of the poorest health systems in the world due to decades of violence, are overburdened due to the attack. Frantic family members searched body bags and plastic sheets at hospitals and other locations for their loved ones. Abdullahi Jama, Halima Duwane’s uncle, was missing. She sobbed as she continued, “We don’t know if he’s alive or dead, but he was near here the last time we spoke.
Those who saw the attack were in awe. Witness Abdirazak Hassan claimed, “I couldn’t count the bodies on the ground due to the (number of) casualties.” He claimed that the initial explosion struck the education ministry’s outer wall, which housed street sellers and money changers.
According to an Associated Press reporter on the site, the second explosion happened at noon in front of a packed restaurant. In a location with several restaurants and hotels, the outbreaks destroyed tuk-tuks and other cars.
One journalist was killed, and two others were injured by the second blast while going to the scene of the first, according to the Somali Journalists Syndicate, citing coworkers and police. According to the Aamin ambulance service, one of its response cars was destroyed in the second bomb.
It was unclear how explosives-laden cars once more managed to reach the prominent spot in Mogadishu, a city with checkpoints and constantly on guard for attacks. The United States has identified Al-Shabab as one of al Qaeda’s deadliest organisations, and in recent years, it has been the target of numerous airstrikes.
President Biden granted the Pentagon’s request to send troops back to the war-torn nation in May, overturning the decision made by former President Donald Trump in January 2021 to withdraw the larger group of 750 soldiers that had been stationed there. Trump initially increased airstrikes in the area after taking office, but in December 2020, he ordered a military withdrawal.