Suicide attack kills almost 80 in Somali's capital

2 Turkish nationals among people killed in attack, condemned by Turkish foreign minister

Mohammed Dhaysane  | 28.12.2019 - Update : 29.12.2019
Suicide attack kills almost 80 in Somali's capital Courtesy Somali government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar Omar

MOGADISHU, Somalia  

Almost 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 Saturday, said Turkey’s envoy to the country.

Suicide attack kills 30+ in Somali capital Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - DECEMBER 28: Damaged vehicles at the site after a bomb attack carried out to a checkpoint in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on December 28, 2019. Over 30 people including civilians and government soldiers were killed and many more wounded when a suicide truck bomb targeted a security checkpoint in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday. ( Sadak Mohamed - Anadolu Agency )

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ambassador Mehmet Yilmaz said: “36 wounded are being treated in our Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital, and nine injured are in surgery. According to information we have, almost 80 people were killed in the attack.” 

"We’re worried that the number of dead in the explosion will exceed 100," he added.

The 200-bed hospital, named after Turkey’s president, was built by the state-run Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and inaugurated in 2015, is run by Turkey’s Health Ministry and over half funded by Turkey.

Turkey has strong ties with Somalia, and since 2011, TIKA has taken part in over 150 projects in the Horn of Africa country.

Condemning the deadly attack, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said "I wish God's grace for two Turkish nationals and all those innocent Somali brothers killed in the attack. We always will continue to support Somalia. Our determined fight against terror will continue.” 

Turkish Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also denounced the attack, writing on Twitter: “I wish God’s grace for two of our citizens and almost 80 Somali brothers and sisters who were killed in heinous attack. Our country will always stand with Somalia in the fight against terror.” 

The attack took place at the junction called Ex-Control Afgoye in a southwestern suburb of the capital during morning rush hour. 

"Students traveling to schools and universities were among those killed in the attack," Ismail Mukhtar Orango, a Somali government spokesman, told Anadolu Agency after the attack.

Suicide attack kills 30+ in Somali capital Mogadishu

The death toll is expected to rise as the victims who died in hospital have not yet been fully counted, he added.

Mogadishu resident Mahmoud Ali, 30, told Anadolu Agency that the attack was one of the deadliest he has seen in his lifetime. 

Hussain Ibrahim, a police captain, told Anadolu Agency that an investigation is underway after the attack. 

No group has yet claimed responsibility. 

An Oct. 14, 2017 double truck bombing in Mogadishu blamed on terrorist group al-Shabaab killed at least 500 people, mostly civilians. 

* Writing and contributions by Davut Demircan

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