Mogadishu: Twin car bomb explosions targeting Somalia’s Education Ministry building here on Saturday killed at least 100 people and injured more than 300 others, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on Sunday.
After visiting the bombing site early Sunday, Mohamud said the fatalities would likely rise.
According to police, a vehicle packed with explosives rammed into the education ministry building located at a busy junction, followed by gunfire. Another blast later occurred in the same area.
Several government offices, hotels and restaurants are situated near the bombing site.
An unspecified number of people, including journalists and police officers, were among the casualties, Sadiq Dudishe, spokesperson of the Somali Police Force, said earlier.
The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group, which often targets the capital and controls large parts of the country, claimed responsibility.
President Mohamud, who has declared an all-out war against the militants, vowed to step up the onslaught against the terrorists behind a series of attacks in Somalia.
Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said such action by al-Shabab won’t stop the government’s commitment to eradicating terrorism.
The blasts came as the Somali president and leaders of the federal member states, including security officials, were meeting to discuss ongoing offensive operations against al-Shabab.
The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia in a statement called for sustained military operations against the insurgents to suppress surging terror attacks in the country.
Extending its condolences to the victims’ families, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia tweeted it “wishes a speedy recovery for those injured, and stands resolutely with all Somalis against terrorism.”
The attack occurred at the same location where a truck packed with explosives blew up in October 2017, killing 587 people, in the country’s deadliest attack.