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Terror truck bomb kills at least 300 and injures hundreds more in 'worst attack since 9/11'

More than 300 people were killed when a home-made truck bomb[1] exploded in the centre of a capital city. After he stopped at a security checkpoint, just as the vehicle was about to be searched, the terrorist behind the wheel accelerated. He crashed through the barrier as the bomb went off, igniting a fuel tanker parked nearby and sparking a massive fireball, in the city of Mogadishu in Somalia.

It is believed to have been the worst terror attack since 2,996 people died in the attacks on New York[2] in 2001. According to local officials the truck was packed with several hundred kilos of military-grade explosives. The devastation was spread over an area hundreds of metres wide, and took out the popular Hotel Safari as well as many shops and homes.

The attack has been blamed on al-Qaeda[3] affiliate the Islamist al Shabaab group.

At least 20 people have died in a car bomb attack The death toll is expected climb

Michael Keating, the UN special envoy to Somalia, called the attack “revolting”. The US mission to Somalia said: “Such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.” Police officer Abdullahi Nur told told Reuters[4] that there were bodies under the rubble.

While Police captain Mohamed Hussein added: “It was a truck bomb. It exploded at the K5 Junction. “There are casualties but we do not know the exact amount as the scene is still burning.”

The K5 Junction is an area lined with government offices, hotels, restaurants and shops.

Pictures on social media show scenes of devastation Huge plumes of smoke were seen rising from the city Onlookers watch in shock No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet

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He added that security forces had been trailing the truck after it raised suspicions. A video shared online by witness Suleiman Hassan shows a vast black plume of smoke rising above the city. Suleiman, who works as an NGO communications manager for CPD Africa, wrote on Twitter[5] : “Huge blast in Mogadishu’s KM5 area.

Many feared dead, injured. “My heart goes out to those affected. ”

It is not yet known how many casualties there are The bomb exploded on Saturday Mogadishu residents have expressed their shock on social media The bomb has devastated a popular tourist area of Mogadishu

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The al Shabaab group, which is an ally of al Qaeda, is waging an insurgency to topple the UN backed government and its African Union allies, and impose its own strict interpretation of Islam. In recent years, the militants have lost most territory under their control to African Union peacekeepers and government troops, but they frequently launch deadly gun, grenade and bomb attacks in Mogadishu and other regions.

Many attacks are aimed at military bases but some also target civilians. Some of the most severely injured are being transported to Turkey for further treatment. Turkey also announced it has given £10m US (about ?7.5m) to the Central Bank of Somalia to assist following the attack.

In a statement on Saturday a spokesman for the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu said: “We strongly condemn the terrorist attack perpetrated today (14 October) in Mogadishu the capital of Somalia with bomb-laden vehicles causing numerous civilian deaths and injuries.

“We wish God’s mercy upon those who lost their lives in the attacks, convey our condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and wish speedy recovery to the wounded.”

References

  1. ^ bomb (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ attacks on New York (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ al-Qaeda (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ Reuters (uk.reuters.com)
  5. ^ on Twitter (twitter.com)



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