MOGADISHU : The death count from Saturday’s truck bombing in a shopping district in the Somali capital Mogadishu surged to at least 276 with 300 people injured, police said on Sunday.
“We are getting different numbers in terms of the casualty from the medical centres, but we have confirmed so far 276 (dead), most of them burned beyond recognition, said police official Ibrahim Mohamed
The blast struck on Saturday afternoon at a busy road junction, reducing buildings to heaps of rubble and leaving vehicles in flames.
“The death toll could be higher because there are more than 300 wounded, some of them seriously.” Officials said it was one of the worst-ever bombings in Somalia.
“It is very difficult to get a precise number because the dead bodies were taken to different medical centres and some of them (were taken) directly by their relatives for burial.”
Rescuers were digging through the rubble at the junction in Hodan, a bustling commercial district of shops, hotels and businesses in the city’s northwest.
“What I have seen at the hospitals I have visited is unspeakable,” Ibrahim Mohamed said.
World Leaders Condemn the Attack
The United States condemned the bombing “in the strongest terms” in a statement released by the State Department.
Washington “will continue to stand with the Somali government, its people, and our international allies to combat terrorism and support their efforts to achieve peace, security, and prosperity,” the statement added.
“The attacks in Somalia are horrifying & Canada condemns them strongly. We mourn with the Canadian Somali community today,” Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “Solidarity with Somalia. Support to the African Union against Islamist terrorist groups. France stands by your side”.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said his country “condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly attacks in Mogadishu, which have claimed so many innocent lives”