Truck bomb kills more than two dozen in Mogadishu

Officials said a truck bomb exploded Saturday in a busy intersection of Mogadishu, Somalia, killing and injuring dozens and destroying nearby buildings.

Vehicles burn at the scene of a massive explosion in front of Safari Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, 14 October 2017. Photo by EPA-EFE/Said Yusuf Warsame
Vehicles burn at the scene of a massive explosion in front of Safari Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, 14 October 2017. Photo by EPA-EFE/Said Yusuf Warsame

No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, though al Shabab, an offshoot of al Qaida, has carried out other car bombings in the country in recent months.
Voice of America reported at least 25 bodies were visible at the scene and 50 other people were injured, though officials cautioned the death toll could rise as rescue workers sifted through the rubble of buildings that crumbled from the force of the blast.

CNN reported police had been tipped off to the truck bomb and were pursuing the vehicle when it exploded. The sound of the blast could be heard throughout the city and a plume of thick black smoke wafted over the Somali capital.

Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adem, the director of the city’s ambulance service, said “hundreds” of victims had been transported to the hospital.

“For 10 years I have been in the emergency service, this is the first I have witnessed. I cannot tell the exact death toll, but together I can say we have transported hundreds of people on our 10 ambulances,” Adem said. “And economically, I think this is the worst ever in Mogadishu in a single day.”

The blast occurred near Zobe, a busy intersection. Witnesses said the truck was sitting in a traffic jam when the driver detonated the bomb. Police said they suspect a suicide attack.

By Eric DuVall