Death toll from blasts in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu rises to 85

15 Oct, 2017 2:21 pm

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – The death toll from twin bomb blasts that struck busy junctions in the heart of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has jumped to 85, making it one of the most deadly attacks since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007.

Police said a truck bomb exploded outside a hotel in the K5 intersection that is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks, flattening several buildings and setting dozens of vehicles on fire.

Two hours later, another blast struck the capital’s Medina district.

“The number of dead has risen to 85. We know some 100 who were injured,” Mohamed Hussein, a police official, told Reuters. Police previously said 22 people died.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but al Shabaab, a group allied to al Qaeda, often carries out attacks.

The group is waging an insurgency against the U.N.-backed government and its African Union allies in a bid to topple the weak administration and impose its own strict interpretation of Islam.

The militants controlled Mogadishu but withdrew under pressure in 2011. They have also been driven out of most territory they controlled by African Union peacekeepers.

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