At least 76 dead, 70 injured in Mogadishu checkpoint blast

At least 76 dead, 70 injured in Mogadishu checkpoint blast
An ambulance leaves from the scene of a car bomb explosion at a checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somalia December 28, 2019. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

At least 76 people were killed and 70 more injured after a massive car bomb exploded at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

The victims included police officers, foreigners and students from Benadir University whose minibus carrying 20 of them was destroyed in the blast.

Somalia’s government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar told CNN that the attacker drove his vehicle into the “Ex-control Afgoye” checkpoint, a well-known junction that links the south of Somalia to the capital.

The attack happened during rush hour in Mogadishu at about 8am and both civilians and soldiers are among the dead, police said.

Police have warned that the death toll could rise as many of the wounded have been rushed to hospitals.
Images from the scene showed multiple wrecked vehicles with shards of twisted metal nearby as well as a minibus marked with blood.

Police conduct security searches at the checkpoint, but there is also a taxation office located nearby and the area is heavily populated with civilians and security forces.

Abdikadir Abdirahman Haji Aden, founder of Amin ambulances, had earlier told Reuters: “So far, we’ve carried 61 dead people and 51 others injured. There are more casualties and the death toll is sure to rise.”

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