Twin explosions leave over 100 dead in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - At least 100 people died following twin car suicide bombings in the Somali capital Mogadishu, a teary President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said while condemning the militants who struct after weeks of sustained operations against the group across the country.

In the company of police chief Major General Hassan Hijaar, Galmadug President Ahmed Kaliye alias Qoorqoor, President Hassan Sheikh visited the site of the devastating attack, which targeted Somalia's Ministry of Education building near Zobe junction.

The emotional president, whose spirited fight against the militants has won him accolades across the world, was taken through rubbles of the affected buildings while taking stock of other notable damages in the busy K-5 junction in downtown Mogadishu.

Apparently, the militants targeted the same site where the worst truck bombing left hundreds of people dead on October 14, 2017, an attack which remains the most sophisticated in the history of Somalia. Saturday's attack came moments after the National Consultative Council concluded its meeting on the Al-Shabaab war.

Hassan Sheikh, who assumed leadership for the second time after five years in cold on May, said over 300 people were injured in the attack and have been taken to various hospitals for treatment. Turkey is one of the countries which has promised to airlift those seriously wounded for specialized treatment.

"We will defeat and we already defeated this radical group," the Head of State said after visiting the site of the terror attack, adding that the group has resorted to retaliatory attacks after losing several strategic towns to the national army who are fighting alongside local militia.

Al-Shabaab has been under siege in different parts of Somalia for a couple of months now, with the national army alongside local militia, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] and the US Africa Command hitting their hideouts in rural central and southern Somalia.

The government of Somalia recently requested the US Africa Command to loosen drone strike regulations by including permission to attack the militants before they strike. Initially, the command has only been chipping in when the local army is under attack or danger.

Earlier, Hassan Sheikh had led several other entities in condemning the attack which was the worst in as many months. Although the militants have been carrying sporadic attacks across the country, there is no time over 100 people have been killed since 2017.

"Today's cruel and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent people by the morally bankrupt and criminal Al-Shabab group cannot discourage us, but will further strengthen our resolve to defeat them once and for all. Our government & brave people will continue to defend Somalia against evil," he said.

"The UN in Somalia strongly condemns Alshabaab’s vicious attack near Mogadishu’s K-5 junction today. It extends its condolences to the families of the victims, wishes a speedy recovery for those injured, and stands resolutely with all Somalis against terrorism," the UN noted.

"My thoughts are with the families of all who died and with those who were injured in today’s barbaric attacks. My government remains committed to fighting and eliminating the terrorist group al-Shabaab from our country, " added PM Hamza Abdi Barre.

Most of those who died were women and children who were undertaking their private activities in the capital with senior police officers and journalists said to have been some of the fatalities. The country has vowed to eliminate the militants completely through military and ideological tactics.

GAROWE ONLINE

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