At least 90 people were killed and over hundreds injured in one of the worst terror attacks seen in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu on Saturday.
A car bomb was detonated during rush hour at a busy intersection that connects the Somali capital with the town from Afgoye, according to local sources, the Efe news reported.
Dr Nasra Ali of Medina Hospital said that many of the injured have been dying from shortages of blood supplies.
Among the dead were at least 17 students from Benadir University in the city, who were in a minibus at the junction.
Health work Abshir Mohamed Amina said: “Our ambulance arrived first. We found bodies scattered and injured people.”
He said some of the bodies had been badly burnt.
The attack took place in the early hours of Saturday after an alleged suicide bomber blew up a vehicle near a security checkpoint crowded with police patrol cars, students and street vendors.
Doctor Yahye Ismail, of Erdogan Hospital, appealed to people to donate blood, adding that all the doctors were treating the injured in the emergency unit, while patients with non-serious ailments had been told to return home.
“Other patients, family members and even doctors, nurses and hospital staff have been asked to donate blood urgently to help the victims. The situation is bad,” he continued.
“I do not remember a similar tragedy since the attack at Zoobe Intersection,” he said in reference to a devastating truck explosion left 587 people dead in Mogadishu in October 2017.
Saturday’s attack was the third deadliest in Mogadishu’s recent history after an explosion in October 2011 killed more than 100 people.
During a press briefing, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo said, “I send my deepest condolences to the families and friends who have lost loved ones.
“It is clear that the terrorists will not leave a single person in this country”, he further added.
No terrorist group has claimed the responsibility for the attack.
Mogadishu has witnessed repeated attacks from Al Shabab, a militant organization that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012 and controls parts of central and southern Somalia.
In 2016, at least four persons were killed and several injured in an explosion outside a restaurant in the Somalia capital Mogadishu.
The United States has also sent around 500 troops into Somali territory and has carried out more than 60 drone attacks against alleged targets of Al Shabab this year, resulting in a number of civilian deaths and casualties.
Somalia has been in a state of war and upheaval since 1991, when former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown, leaving the country without an effective government and vulnerable to Islamic radical militants, warlords, and criminal armed groups.
(With inputs from agency)