Killed, 90 Injured In Mogadishu Bomb Attack

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AT least 80 people, including two Turkish nationals, were killed and many more wounded in a suicide truck bomb attack on a security checkpoint in the Somali capital Mogadishu on December 28, said Turkey's envoy to the country.

"There are more casualties and the death toll is sure to rise", said Mr Abdikadir Abdirahman Haji Aden, founder of Aamin ambulances.

The most deadly attack blamed on the group was in October 2017 when a bomb-laden truck exploded next to a fuel tanker in Mogadishu, creating a firestorm that killed almost 600 people. Police said two Turkish nationals were dead.

The explosion ripped through rush hour as Somalia returned to work after its weekend.

The attack has not been claimed, however Mogadishu is regularly hit by vehicle bombings and attacks waged by Al-Shabaab Islamist militants allied to Al-Qaeda.

Al-Shabab was blamed for the truck bombing, but the group never claimed responsibility for the blast that led to widespread public outrage. He said the vehicle detonated after police at the checkpoint blocked it from proceeding into the city.

Turkey's defence ministry wrote on Twitter it had sent a military plane "loaded with emergency aid equipment... in order to provide emergency aid to our Somalian brothers injured in the despicable terror attack in Somalia".

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Most of those killed were university and other students returning to class, Mayor Omar Mohamud Mohamed said at the scene. "There can be one or two more people who may be dead" due to the high numbers of those injured, he said.

'All I could see was scattered dead bodies [.] amid the blast and some of them burned beyond recognition'.

Numerous dead were "students with ambition, and hardworking men and women", he wrote.

Two weeks ago, at least five people were killed after the group attacked a hotel popular with lawmakers and security officials in the Somali capital.

A soldier stands guard near wreckage of vehicles in Mogadishu after a auto bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019.

"This explosion is similar like the one ... in 2017.

We are calling on the Somali public both, inside and outside the country to take part in assisting the victims, and to stand together in the fight against Al-Shabaab", the prime minister told Radio Mogadishu. It funds itself with a "taxation" system that experts describe as extortion of businesses and travelers that brings in millions of dollars a year.

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