Rush hour car bomb kills many in Somali capital

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Witnesses reported carnage at the scene of the blastImage copyright
Reuters

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Witnesses reported carnage at the scene of the blast

At least 20 people are reported to have been killed by a car bomb during morning rush hour in Somalia’s capital.

The blast took place at a checkpoint at a busy intersection in Mogadishu.

“The blast was devastating, and I could confirm more than 20 civilians killed, there were many more wounded,” police officer Ibrahim Mohamed was quoted by news agency AFP as saying.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bomb but al-Shabab militants have often carried out attacks there.

Al-Shabab – a group of Islamist militants, allied to Al-Qaeda – has waged an insurgency for more than 10 years. It was forced out of the capital in 2011 but still controls areas of the country.

  • Who are Somalia’s al-Shabab?

Witnesses described carnage at the scene.

“All I could see was scattered dead bodies … amid the blast and some of them burned beyond recognition,” said Sakariye Abdukadir, who was close to the blast.

One Somali MP, Mohamed Abdirizak, put the death toll at more than 90, although the information he said he had received has not been independently confirmed.

“May Allah have mercy on the victims of this barbaric attack,” the former internal security minister added.

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Media captionJamal Osman, a Somali journalist, talks about how his country has been torn apart by civil war for three decades



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