120 dead in Somalia car bombings, some still missing

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The death toll in the two car bombings in the Somali capital has reached 120 and could rise further as some people are still missing, the country’s health minister said on Monday.

Ali Haji said more than 320 other people were injured in Saturday midday blasts at a busy junction in Mogadishu, and more than 150 of them are still being treated in hospitals.

It is the deadliest attack in Somalia since a truck bomb in the same location killed more than 500 people five years ago. It is unclear how explosive-laden vehicles once again drove through a city full of checkpoints and constantly on alert for attacks.

Al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bombings and said it targeted the education ministry, which it accuses of turning young people away from Islam.

The Somali government under recently elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has embarked on a new offensive against al-Shabab, including efforts to shut down its financial network. The government has said the fight will continue.


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