Somalia checkpoint truck bomb kills at least 100 people


At least 100 people have been killed after a truck bomb exploded at a busy security checkpoint in Somalia’s capital.

The blast targeted a tax collection centre during the Saturday morning rush-hour in Mogadishu as Somalians returned to work after the weekend, police said.

Government spokesman Ismail Mukhtar said the death toll is likely to increase further as more than 50 people injured in the incident, some seriously, are being treated in hospital.

Mayor Omar Mohamud Mohamed, speaking at the scene, said university students were among those killed.

Two Turkish nationals were also killed.

Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab often carries out such attacks.

The extremist group was pushed out of Mogadishu several years ago but continues to target high-profile areas such as checkpoints and hotels in the city.

Al-Shabab was blamed for a devastating truck bombing in Mogadishu in October 2017 that killed more than 600 people, though the group never claimed responsibility for the blast.

The latest attack again raises concern about the readiness of Somali forces to take over responsibility for the Horn of Africa country’s security in the coming months from an African Union force.

Al-Shabab, the target of a growing number of US airstrikes since President Donald Trump took office, controls parts of Somalia’s southern and central regions.

It funds itself with a “taxation” system that experts describe as extortion of businesses and travellers that brings in millions of dollars a year.

SOURCE: Somalia checkpoint truck bomb kills at least 100 people

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