Somalia Bomb blast kills 39
A car bomb has killed at least 39 people and injured around 50 people in Somalia.
On Sunday 19 February 2017, a car bomb exploded at a market in Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu. The bomb blast ripped through the market, killing and injuring civilians and destroying shops and stalls.
The blast occurred in the southern Madina district of the capital. This is the first major attack to occur since the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. The president was elected on 8 February 2017. His leadership is thought to mark a ‘new beginning’.
The extremist group, Al-Shabab are thought to be responsible for the attack. The group have carried out 360 attacks in Somalia in the past decade. On 18 February, Al-Shabab militants reportedly vowed to target supporters of the president.
Islamist leader, Sheikh Hassan Yaqub called the president evil-minded. He said that anyone who collaborated with the president would be at risk. The group called the newly-elected president an “apostate” and vowed to continue to fight against him.
The car was driven by a suicide bomber and parked beside a restaurant. The blast went off at a busy time when shoppers and traders were gathered inside the market.
Government soldier, Ali Mire, described the scene to be “a painful carnage”. Witnesses spoke of the chaos at the scene. Women were screaming as injured bodies were carried away into ambulances.
Cars were also destroyed and all that was left of the shops were wood and metal. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said the attack was “horrific and barbaric”. The president has visited the scene of the attack and has visited victims.
Many of the victims have suffered extreme third degree burns and some have been burned beyond recognition.
The extremist group did not immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Photo Credit: CGTN Africa