At least five killed in al-Shabab car bombing in Somalia's capital
At least five people have been killed and several others wounded in a car bombing near a school in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, witnesses and officials have said.
The blast happened near a junction in the heart of the city in the early hours of Thursday, triggering a plume of smoke, witnesses said, adding that they also heard gunfire.
The blast was so large that the walls of the nearby school and a hospital collapsed.
“We were shaken by the blast pressure, and then deafened by the gunfire that followed,” said Mohamed Hussein, a nurse at the nearby Osman Hospital. Hussein said he had been pulled from the rubble of a collapsed ceiling. “Our hospital walls collapsed. Opposite us is a school that also collapsed. I do not know how many died,” he said.
The Aamin Ambulance services director, Abdikadir Abdirahman, said at least five people had died and 23 others had been injured.
The Takfiri al-Shabab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, and a spokesman, Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters that the explosion had been aimed at a convoy of Western officials being escorted by African Union peacekeeping forces.
But a witness, Hassan Ali, said that a private security company was escorting the officials and said he saw four of the security personnel wounded.
The al-Shabab terrorist group frequently carries out gun and bomb attacks against both civilian and military targets, including at busy traffic intersections, hotels, and military bases.
In a recent attack on November 20, at least eight people were killed and more than a dozen others wounded in a bomb explosion that ripped through a crowded market in Somalia’s South West State.