Somalia appeals for international help after deadly blasts

A view of damage sustained by twin car bombings in the Somali capital Mogadishu on October 29, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

MOGADISHU — Somalia’s president has issued an urgent plea for international help for wounded victims of devastating car bombings at the weekend that claimed the lives of 100 people.اضافة اعلان

Bulldozers were still clearing the blast site in the capital Mogadishu on Monday in the hunt for bodies feared trapped under the rubble.

Saturday’s attack, which also wounded more than 300 people, was claimed by the Al-Shabaab terrorist group and was the deadliest in the fragile Horn of Africa nation in five years.

“We appeal for the international community, Somali brothers, and other Muslim brothers and or partners to send doctors to Somalia to help the hospitals treat the wounded people,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a statement on Sunday.

He warned that the death toll could rise, as ill-equipped hospitals were swamped.

Somalia has been mired in chaos since the fall of president Siad Barre’s military regime in 1991 and has one of the world’s weakest health systems after decades of conflict.

“We cannot airlift all these numbers of wounded people. ... Anyone who can send us (help) we request to send us,” said Mohamud.

Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre has ordered schools closed so that students can take part in a national blood donation drive.

Mohamud said he himself was among several hundred people who had donated blood to hospitals for the victims.

The World Health Organization said on Sunday it was ready to help the government treat the wounded and provide trauma care.

We are ‘at war’

Al-Shabaab, a radical Islamist group linked to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack in which two cars packed with explosives blew up minutes apart near the city’s busy Zobe intersection, followed by gunfire.

It said it had targeted the country’s ministry of education.

The explosions tore through walls and shattered windows of nearby buildings, sending shrapnel flying and plumes of smoke and dust into the air.

In August, the group launched a 30-hour gun and bomb attack on the popular Hayat hotel in Mogadishu, killing 21 people and wounding 117.

The insurgents have been seeking to overthrow the fragile foreign-backed government in Mogadishu for about 15 years.

They were driven out of the capital in 2011 by an African Union force but the group still controls swathes of countryside and continues to wage deadly strikes on civilian, political and military targets.

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