Somalia twin bomb blasts: Death toll rises to 189
The death toll from the powerful twin bomb blasts that struck Somalia's capital Mogadishu has climbed to 189 with over 200 injured; the numbers are expected to rise. It is being considered the single deadliest attack ever witnessed by the country. Police and hospital officials said that doctors are struggling to assist the "horrifically wounded" victims with some charred beyond recognition.
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has declared three-day mourning in the country. He joined others responding to a "desperate plea" by hospitals asking people to donate blood to the wounded victims. Mohamed said: "I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate."
The first explosion occurred after a truck bomb detonated itself near the Safari hotel. The hotel collapsed in the impact. At least thirty people are known to be dead. Several more are believed to be trapped under the rubble. In a second instance, a car bomb exploded in Mogadishu's Madina district; 2 civilians have reportedly been killed and several others injured.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far. It could likely be al Shabab, the al Qaeda affiliated Somali group, which is currently fighting government forces and regularly targets Mogadishu.