Death toll rises to 120 in attack on Somalia’s capital

MOGADISHU, Somalia (HPD) — The death toll from two car bombings in Somalia’s capital has risen to 120 and could rise as some people remain missing, the country’s health minister said Monday.

Ali Haji said that more than 320 people were injured in Saturday’s midday explosions at a busy Mogadishu crossing and more than 150 of them are still receiving treatment in hospitals.

It was the deadliest attack in Somalia since a truck bomb at the same location killed more than 500 people five years ago. It is unknown how the vehicles loaded with explosives managed to cross again a city full of checkpoints and constantly alert for possible attacks.

Al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it targeted the Ministry of Education, which it accused of turning young people away from Islam.

The Somali government under newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has launched a new offensive against al-Shabab, including efforts to shut down its financial network. The government has reiterated that the fight will continue.

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