Mogadishu, Oct 31 (EFE).- The death toll from a twin car bomb attack in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, two days ago has risen to 120, the government confirmed Monday.
“The explosions were huge and left 120 dead and 269 injured. We will help the victims,” Somali health minister Ali Haji Adan told reporters following a visit to the victims.
The attack targeted the Ministry of Education, which is located near the Zobe intersection, also known as K-5, one of the busiest in Mogadishu.
Somali Islamist group al-Shabab claimed the attack, threatening to continue hitting government infrastructure.
Mohamud said the victims “included mothers with their children in their arms, fathers who had medical conditions, students who were sent to study, businessmen who were struggling with the lives of their families.”
The president said it was a “cruel and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent people by the morally bankrupt and criminal al-Shabab group.”
Mohamud said such attacks could not “discourage us but will further strengthen our resolve to defeat them once and for all.”
“Our government and brave people will continue to defend Somalia against evil.”
Following the attack, a blood donation campaign was organized for the victims in which thousands of people participated, including members of the government and Mohamud himself.
According to police sources cited by local media and the Somali Journalists Union, the deceased included a police commander and a well-known Somali journalist.
In October 2017, 587 people died at the same Zoobe intersection hit by a truck bomb attack.
The country in the horn of Africa has seen an escalation in violence in the wake of President Mohamud declaring a “total war” against al-Shabab in August.
The vow came a day after the group staged a deadly hotel siege in Mogadishu that killed 21 people and wounded more than 100 others.
The militant group has often claimed responsibility for attacks on the capital.
The al-Qaeda affiliate aims to expel all foreign forces from Somalia and establish a strict Islamic state.
Somalia has been in a state of war since 1991 when the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre left the country without an effective government and vulnerable to Islamic militants, warlords, and criminal groups.
The group controls rural areas of central and southern Somalia and also conducts attacks in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia. EFE