Somalia – The death toll from twin attacks in central Somalia has climbed to 48 as causality clamoured the region.
This was revealed by the leader of Hirshabelle state on Thursday 24th, 2022, with Al-Shabaab insurgents claiming they were targeting politicians ahead of elections.
According AFP account, the first attack in Hirshabelle’s Beledweyne district was carried out on Wednesday night by a suicide bomber, and killed two local lawmakers including Amina Mohamed Abdi and several of her guards as she campaigned for re-election.
Minutes later, a car bomb exploded outside Beledweyne’s main hospital where the injured were being taken for treatment, killing dozens, causing buildings to collapse and leaving vehicles in charred, twisted ruins.
“As far as we can confirm, 48 people were killed and 108 others injured in the twin blasts,” said Ali Gudlawe Hussein, leader of Hirshabelle state, adding that emergency workers had found bodies buried under debris.
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“We are urging (citizens) to be very vigilant, we are ordering all security agencies to beef up security,” he said.
Earlier Thursday, the Beledweyne district police chief told AFP that the attacks had killed over 30 people.
“The terrorists carried out the first attack using a suicide bomber and readied a car loaded with explosives in front of a hospital to cause more casualties,” said Colonel Isak Ali Abdulle.
“These were devastating simultaneous attacks which damaged property as well as causing mass civilian casualties.”
The bombings occurred the same day as three people were killed in a separate attack near Mogadishu’s airport that was also claimed by Al-Shabaab.
The Al-Qaeda-linked militants frequently target civilian, military and government targets in Somalia’s capital and outside.