The two car bombs that exploded at Somalia’s education ministry, next to a busy market intersection, killed at least 100 people and wounded 300, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on Sunday, warning the death toll could rise.
Mogadishu’s K5 intersection is normally teeming with people buying and selling everything from food, clothing and water to foreign currency and khat, a mild narcotic leaf, but it was quiet on Sunday, when emergency workers were still cleaning blood from the streets and buildings.
Saturday’s attack was the deadliest since a truck bomb exploded at the same intersection in October 2017, killing more than 500 people.
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No one immediately claimed responsibility, but Mohamud blamed the Islamist al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab.
The first of the explosions hit the education ministry at around 2 p.m. The second hit as ambulances arrived and people gathered to help the victims.
Mohamed Moalim, who owns a small restaurant near the intersection, said his wife, Fardawsa Mohamed, a mother of six, rushed to the scene after the first explosion to try to help.
“We failed to stop her,” he said. “She was killed by the second blast.”
President Mohamud said some of the wounded were in a serious condition and the death toll could rise.