New Delhi: More than 90 people have died and 130 others were injured in one of the worst terror attacks seen in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu.
A car bomb was detonated on Saturday during morning rush hour at a busy intersection that connects the Somali capital with the town from Afgoye, according to local sources, the Efe news reported.
Dr Nasra Ali of Medina Hospital, said that many of the injured have been dying from shortages of blood supplies.
Among the dead were at least 17 students from Benadir University in the city, who were in a minibus at the junction.
Two Turkish engineers from EN-EZ Construction Company were also killed as they were carrying out works on the road, the country’s embassy in Mogadishu said.
Health work Abshir Mohamed Amina said: “Our ambulance arrived first. We found bodies scattered and injured people.”
He said some of the bodies had been badly burnt.
The attack took place at 8 a.m. local time (5.00 GMT) when an alleged suicide bomber blew up a vehicle near a security checkpoint crowded with police patrol cars, students and street vendors.
Dozens of families gathered outside the city’s hospitals waiting for news about missing loved ones.
Doctor Yahye Ismail, of Erdogan Hospital, appealed to people to donate blood, adding that all the doctors were treating the injured in the emergency unit, while patients with non-serious ailments had been told to return home.
“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,” he continued.
“I do not remember a similar tragedy since the attack at Zoobe Intersection,” he said in reference to a devastating truck explosion left 587 people dead in Mogadishu in October 2017.
Saturday’s attack was the third deadliest in Mogadishu’s recent history, after an explosion in October 2011 killed more than 100 people.
Somali President Mohamed Abdulahi Farmajo said at a press conference: “I send my deepest condolences to the families and friends who have lost loved ones.
“It is clear that the terrorists will not leave a single person in this country.
“They are our enemies and we have to focus on eliminating them.”
The casualties were especially high because the attack took place when people were returning to work after the weekend, which in the Muslim-majority country falls on Thursday and Friday.
No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mogadishu has witnessed repeated attacks from Al Shabab, a militant organization that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012 and controls parts of central and southern Somalia.
The latest attack has called into question the ability of the Somali army to maintain security in the Horn of Africa nation.
Contingents of soldiers from the African Union have been deployed on a peace mission in the country.
The United States has also sent around 500 troops into Somali territory and has carried out more than 60 drone attacks against alleged targets of Al Shabab this year, resulting in a number of civilian deaths and casualties.
Somalia has been in a state of war and upheaval since 1991, when former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown, leaving the country without an effective government and vulnerable to Islamic radical militants, warlords, and criminal armed groups.