The death toll from the most powerful bomb blast witnessed in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has risen to 231 with more than 275 injured, a senator has said.

Police said a truck bomb exploded outside the Safari Hotel at the K5 intersection, which is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks, flattening buildings and setting vehicles on fire. A separate blast struck the Medina district two hours later.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed said the toll comes from doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu. Many of the bodies in hospital mortuaries have not yet been identified, he said.

It is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

Somali Armed Forces evacuate their injured colleague, from the scene of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia (Reuters)

Dr Afzal Ashraf, assistant professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham, told The Independent the attack was likely a response to recent losses suffered by Islamist groups.

He said groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and Isis were “increasingly on the back foot, particularly in Iraq and Syria, and feel they need to lash out.”

 

Read the whole story from The Independent.

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