Somali security officials said the bomb had been packed into a truck that a suicide bomber drove into the Kawo Godey market, near the center of Mogadishu, the capital.
“I was shocked when I saw the bodies of dead men lying on the ground,” said Fa’izo Shimbir, a shopper who was near the market. “The market was full of blood.”
Doctors at a nearby hospital said that dozens of patients had streamed in, many with deep shrapnel wounds, and that the death toll was certain to rise.
Somali officials blamed the Shabab militant group, which has been terrorizing the country for years, for the blast.
The attack, which occurred in the Medina area of Mogadishu, came just hours after Somalia’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, announced a new offensive against the Shabab. Mr. Mohamed — best known by his nickname, Farmajo, which comes from the Italian word for cheese — was selected by Somalia’s Parliament this month in an election process widely seen as staggeringly corrupt.
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Featured image courtesy of Newsweek.