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ACCRA–Two powerful truck bombs in the heart of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Saturday killed at least 300 people and injured about 300 more, in what authorities call the deadliest attack in the country’s history.
Saturday’s explosion – the worst single explosion in the East African country’s history – occurred at Zoobe junction, a bustling area of the city with many shops, hotels and offices. The deadly blast also left more than 300 people wounded.
The Somali capital is a frequent target of attacks by al-Shabab, an extremist group linked to al-Qaeda, but residents said they quickly discerned that the twin blasts were of a different order of magnitude.
The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, asked the Somali government “to show renewed unity at this critical time and overcome divisions, to rebuild cohesion at all levels of the federal institutions.”
It said the pan-African body, which has deployed a peacekeeping mission in the East African country, would “continue its support to the Somali government and people in their efforts to achieve sustainable peace and security.”
In a statement released on Sunday, Washington condemned the bombing “in the strongest terms”. The US “will continue to stand with the Somali government, its people, and our international allies to combat terrorism and support their efforts to achieve peace, security, and prosperity,” the statement released by the Department of State said.
Boris Johnson, UK’s foreign secretary, said London “condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly attacks in Mogadishu, which have claimed so many innocent lives”.
French President Emmanuel Macron said: “Solidarity with Somalia. Support to the African Union against Islamist terrorist groups. France stands by your side,” in a tweet on Sunday.
The Eiffel Tower also turned its lights off in solidarity with the victims of the attack.