Somali suffers worst terrorist attack

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A devastating attack, perhaps yet the worst Somalia, has experienced so far has taken place believed to have been the handiwork of the Al-Shabab terrorist group.

A Somali soldier helps a civilian who was wounded in a blast.

It is reckoned that at least 276 people may have died in the attack and the government news agency Sonna says only 111 of them have been identified.

Turkish support has enabled a Turkish military plane to take 40 of the injured to Turkey for medical treatment.
The horrorful terror attack is regarded as the deadliest that has hit the Somali nation by the Islamist al-Shabab group since 2007.

Some of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.




Of those who were identified, one of the victims was a medical student who was due to graduate the next day.
Her father had flown to Mogadishu to attend her graduation but instead witnessed her burial.

No group has yet said it was behind the bombing at a busy junction, destroying hotels, government offices and restaurants.

But President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed blamed al-Shabab, calling it a “heinous act”.

Al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaeda, and which often attacks Mogadishu, normally claims them fairly quickly afterwards.

On Sunday, some Somalis took to the streets of Mogadishu to condemn the group. Maryam Abdullahi had been due to graduate as a doctor the following day.

Ms Abdullah’s sister Anfa’a told the BBC Somali Service that she was devastated.

“The family is so shocked, especially our father who travelled all the way from London to attend her graduation, but instead he attended her burial.”

Anfa’a said she had spoken to her sister 20 minutes before the blast.

“At that time she was in Banadir Hospital where she was working. She told me she was waiting for some files from the hospital and she promised to call back”.

A BBC Somali reporter at the scene of the main blast said the Safari hotel collapsed with people trapped under the rubble.

An eyewitness, local resident Muhidin Ali, told AFP it was “the biggest blast I have ever witnessed, it destroyed the whole area”.

Meanwhile, the director of the Madina Hospital, Mohamed Yusuf Hassan, said he was shocked by the scale of the attack.

“What happened yesterday was incredible, I have never seen such a thing before, and countless people lost their lives. Corpses were burned beyond recognition.”

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