On Oct.14, Somalia experienced a twin blast that has killed at least 276 people and severely injured hundreds more.
The Guardian describes the attack as ‘one of the most lethal terrorist acts anywhere in the world in recent years‘, a sentiment shared by other international news outlets.
ABC News reported that the death toll was initially given as 22 but climbed sharply as more bodies were recovered. As at Monday morning, Somalia’s information minister has confirmed 276 people dead and 300 injured.
“The death toll will still be higher because some people are still missing“, he told Reuters.
How did the attack occur? The Guardian explained that a truck packed with several hundred kilograms of military-grade and homemade explosives was set off at the K5 district in Mogadishu, after it crashed through a barrier. This ignited a fuel tanker parked nearby, creating a massive fireball.
CNN corroborates this narration, reporting that ‘security forces had been tipped off about the vehicle carrying explosives and were pursuing it in the busy K5 district when the explosion happened.‘
The K5 district hosts government offices, hotels and restaurants.
Immediate response to the attack from the Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed was to declare 3 days of national mourning. Also, he joined in donating blood to injured victims and appealed to ‘all Somali people to come forward and donate blood.’
The United States condemned the bombings, describing it as “cowardly”. However, the U.S Africa Command suggested the U.S would only offer assistance if a request was made. [The Hindu].
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera ran a story about the minimal coverage and “double standards” by Western society towards the attack.
No group has confirmed responsibility for the attack.