Scores of Somali students killed in Mogadishu truck bomb attack

Scores of Somali students killed in Mogadishu truck bomb attack
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A resident stands at the scene of a car bomb explosion at a checkpoint in Mogadishu. (Reuters)
Scores of Somali students killed in Mogadishu truck bomb attack
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Above, the scene of a car bomb explosion at a checkpoint in Mogadishu. (Reuters)
Scores of Somali students killed in Mogadishu truck bomb attack
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Somali security assess the scene of a car bomb explosion at a checkpoint in Mogadishu on Saturday, December 28, 2019. (Reuters)
Scores of Somali students killed in Mogadishu truck bomb attack
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A resident wounded in the car bomb attack is helped by a friend at check point in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. (AP)
Scores of Somali students killed in Mogadishu truck bomb attack
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An ambulance leaves from the scene of a car bomb explosion at a checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. (Reuters)
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A resident wounded in the car bomb attack is helped by a friend at check point in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday, Dec, 28, 2019. (AP) Medical personnel evacuate a resident wounded in the car bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. (AP)
Scores of Somali students killed in Mogadishu truck bomb attack
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A resident wounded in the car bomb attack is helped by a friend at check point in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday, Dec, 28, 2019. (AP) Medical personnel evacuate a resident wounded in the car bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. (AP)
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A wounded man is carried on a stretcher at Medina hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 29 December 2019

Scores of Somali students killed in Mogadishu truck bomb attack

Scores of Somali students killed in Mogadishu truck bomb attack
  • Most of those killed were university and other students returning to class
  • President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed condemned the attack as a ‘heinous act of terror’ and blamed Al-Shabab

JEDDAH: At least 90 people were killed on Saturday when a bomb in a truck exploded at a checkpoint during the morning rush hour in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

Many students, several police officers and at least two Turkish nationals were among the dead. A small team of Turkish engineers had been working near the site of the blast, building a road into the city.

No group admitted carrying out the bombing, but the city’s mayor Omar Mohamud blamed the militant Al-Shabab organization, which is linked to Al-Qaeda.

Videos of the attack were captured by witnesses and shared over social media.

Traffic is usually heavy at the Ex-Control Junction, where heavily armed security forces check vehicles for explosives and weapons. There is also a government tax collection point at the junction, where fees are taken from buses and trucks.

Sabdow Ali, 55, who lives near by, left his house when he heard the explosion, and counted at least 13 bodies. “Dozens of injured people were screaming for help but the police opened fire and I rushed back to my house,” he said.

The injured were transported to Medina Hospital, where a nurse said they had admitted more than 100 people. At least 16 of those killed were students from Banadir University, who had been traveling on a minibus when the truck bomb exploded.

“What happened today was horrible,” said one student who feared his sister had been on the bus. She was later found safe.

“I was among several students who rushed to the hospital after we heard. I counted the bodies of 16 male and female students, some of them had parts of their bodies severed.

“The minibus carried 17 students and only one of them survived. He had left the bus before the blast to get a pass receipt from the tax collection point.”


A Somali woman reacts as victims from a car bombing attack are brought to the Madina Hospital in Mogadishu, on December 28, 2019. (File/AFP)

A Somali woman reacts as victims from a car bombing attack are brought to the Madina Hospital in Mogadishu, on December 28, 2019. (File/AFP)

Al-Shabab regularly carries out such attacks in an attempt to undermine the government, which is backed by the UN and African Union peacekeeping troops. In October 2017, a truck bomb exploded next to a fuel tanker in Mogadishu, creating a fireball that killed nearly 600 people.

The group sometimes does not admit carrying out attacks when there is a large public backlash, such as the 2009 suicide bombing of a graduation ceremony for medical students.

Al-Shabab is the youth wing of the former Islamic Courts Union, and pledged loyalty to Al-Qaeda in 2012.




The wreckage of a car that was destroyed during the car bomb attack is seen in Mogadishu, on December 28, 2019. (File/AFP)

The African Union peacekeeping force is scheduled to hand over responsibility for security to Somali troops next year, although the date keeps changing.

“Somalia is not ready to take over control of security next year or the year after,” said Hussein Sheikh-Ali, founder of the Hiraal Institute, a  security think tank in Mogadishu.


Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital

Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital
Updated 16 January 2021

Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital

Bomb kills two policemen in Afghan capital
  • Two policemen were killed and one wounded
  • The two warring sides are currently in the Qatari capital Doha discussing the agenda items of the talks

KABUL: A roadside bomb targeting a police vehicle in the Afghan capital killed two policemen Saturday, officials said, as violence continues unabated in Afghanistan despite peace talks between the Taliban and government.
The vehicle carrying the policemen was struck by the bomb in the center of the capital on the road to the prestigious Kabul University, police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz said.
Two policemen were killed and one wounded, Faramarz said.
Violence has surged across the country in recent months, especially in Kabul which is also rocked by a new trend of targeted killings that has sown fear in the city.
The bloodshed comes even as the Taliban and government negotiators engage in peace talks to end the nearly two decade war in the country.
The two warring sides are currently in the Qatari capital Doha discussing the agenda items of the talks.