'Scores dead' in twin blasts in Mogadishu

Explosions strike busy area near education ministry in Somalia's capital

The scene of an explosion near the education ministry building in Mogadishu. Reuters
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Scores of people were killed after twin blasts struck a busy junction near Somalia's ministry of education in the capital Mogadishu on Saturday.

The blasts hit the K-5 junction near the education ministry, said police spokesman Sadiq Doshe.

“The purpose of the attack was to target and destroy an educational centre that was serving Somali students, but the brave national army who have information of the terrorist plot, prevented it,” he added.

An explosives-laden vehicle was driven into the ministry compound and was followed by gunfire, a police officer told AFP.

"In a few minutes another blast occurred in the same area," he said.

Authorities said scores were killed or wounded in the mid-day blasts, but they had no overall count yet. A journalist is among the dead, said Doshe.

The area was the site of a deadly 2017 bombing which killed more than 500 people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Saturday attack.

It came as the president, prime minister and other senior officials met in the capital to discuss tackling violent extremism, especially by the Al Shabab group.

Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group, regularly carries out attacks in the capital and other areas of the country.

It has waged an Islamist insurgency against Somalia's government for more than a decade.

In August, Al Shabab killed 21 and took more than a hundred people hostage during a hotel siege in the capital.

Its militants previously hit the education ministry in a 2015 car bombing and shooting attack that killed dozens.

Updated: October 29, 2022, 2:53 PM