No terrorist group has claimed the ownership, although the jihadist group Al Shabab – which is attentive at checkpoints – had expressed its rejection of the construction of this road
At least 61 people have died and another 50 have been injured this Saturday by the explosion of a car bomb at a checkpoint in Mogadishu, at the busy intersection that connects the Somali capital with the town of Afgoye, according to medical sources. “More than 61 dead and 50 wounded today in an explosion in Mogadishu,” confirmed the founder of Aamin ambulance service Abdulkadir Adan via Twitter, the only operational emergency service in the Somali capital. Among the dead, there are at least two engineers of Turkish nationality, who at the time of the explosion carried out works on this road and several university students who were inside a minibus crossing the crossing.
The attack took place at 8.00 local time (5.00 GMT) when an alleged suicide bomber exploded a kind of van near a tax office, at the security checkpoint located at the intersection that vehicles leaving and entering Mogadishu from the city of Afgoye. It was the rush hour of a working day in the Somali capital, so around this area, there were numerous patrol cars, students and vendors, according to various witnesses.
“Other patients, family members and even doctors, nurses and hospital staff have been asked to donate blood urgently to help the victims. The situation is bad,” Dr Yahye Ismail of Erdogan Hospital told Efe. No terrorist group has yet claimed responsibility for this event, although the jihadist group Al Shabab – which frequently attempts at checkpoints against security agents – had previously expressed its rejection of the construction of this route.
If its ownership is confirmed, it would be one of the worst attacks in the country’s recent history at the hands of this extremist group, and reminiscent of the devastating bomb truck explosion that left 587 dead in Mogadishu in October 2017. The Somali capital often suffers attacks by Al Shabab, a terrorist organization that joined the Al Qaeda international network in 2012 and controls part of central and southern Somalia, where it aspires to establish an Islamic state of the Wahhabi (ultraconservative) court. Somalia lives in a state of conflict and chaos since 1991, when dictator Mohamed Siad Barré was overthrown, which left the country without an effective government and in the hands of Islamist militias and warlords