By Faith Nyasuguta
About five people have been killed and 23 others wounded after a huge explosion hit Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital early Thursday morning sparking a plume of smoke which rose from the blast site amid gunfire, officials and witnesses have reported.
“So far we know five people died and 23 others (were) injured,” Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Aamin Ambulance services, said to Reuters.
According to the Al Shabaab military operations mouthpiece, Abdiasis Abu Musab, the Somalia Islamist group executed the attack which aimed at a passing United Nations convoy.
The blast near the K4 junction in the heart of Mogadishu was so large it collapsed the walls of the nearby Mucassar primary and secondary school and also left cars mangled, outlets reported.
“We were shaken by the blast pressure, then deafened by the gunfire that followed,” Mohamed Hussein, a nurse at the nearby Osman Hospital said.
He confirmed that he had been pulled from the rubble of a collapsed ceiling.
“Our hospital walls collapsed. Opposite us is a school that also collapsed. I do not know how many died,” he said.
Security officials could not be immediately reached for a comment.
For decades, the Al Shabaab has been fighting Somalia’s central government in a bid to establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.
Often, the group executes bombings and gun assaults in Somalia and in any other place in its war against the Somalia military and the African Union-mandated Amisom force that aid in defending the central government.