Car bombs at Somali education ministry leave scores of casualties

Two car bomb explosions at the education ministry in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu killed or wounded scores of people on Saturday authorities said the Islamist group al Shabaab carried out the attack, which they said had targeted the education ministry, an intersection and a school.

“At 2:00 p.m. al-Shabaab terrorists carried out two explosions targeting civilians, including children, women and the elderly,” police spokesman Sadiq Doodishe said.

Doodishe said police would give the death toll and number of injured later. State news agency SONNA, said the blasts had caused “scores of civilian casualties including independent journalist Mohamed Isse Kona”.

The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) confirmed that Kona, a TV reporter, had been killed while other two journalists wounded. The attack took place at the same point where Somalia’s largest bombing took place the same month in 2017.

In that bombing, which killed more than 500 people, a truck bomb exploded outside a busy hotel at the K5 intersection which is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks.

Al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab, which has been fighting in Somalia for more than a decade, is seeking to topple the central government and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of sharia law. The group uses a campaign of bombings both in Somalia and elsewhere and targets have included military installation as well as hotels, shopping centres, and busy traffic centres.

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