Explosions near Somalia’s education ministry kill 100 people
At least 102 people were killed and dozens were injured Wednesday when blasts rained down on an education ministry compound and nearby residential areas, the deadliest attack yet in the Horn of Africa country.
The blasts, at an office of the U.N.-funded education agency and several houses of worship, hit the area in the capital, Mogadishu, just after midday, the official and a witness said. Two explosions, one immediately after the other, followed five or six minutes apart, local sources said.
“At least 102 people were killed and dozens were injured,” said Mohamed Abdulkarim Guled, Somalia’s minister of education and religious affairs.
A witness who works in a school near the blast told The Associated Press by telephone that dozens of children were playing outside around the time of the explosion.
“There was a big bang, and the children were running away.”
The official said the government has yet to fully assess the damage. Mogadishu’s two busiest roads — Mogadishu-Tegucigalpa Road and Mogadishu-Kismayo Road — were briefly shut down while the bomb squad went to the site, one official said.
The government has yet to explain the blast, but a security official told the AP that the blast appeared to be “a terrorist strike.” Another security source said it appeared to have been caused by an IED.
The U.N. agency, known as UNAIDS, said it was investigating the incident, noting that it would provide more information when it had more information.
“The UNAIDS country representative is in contact with the Somali Ministry of Health to follow up with the injured, and to ensure that medical evacuation is made available to those who are ill,” the agency said in a statement.
Guled said the ministry had received a complaint about the fire and bomb explosions. Witnesses said many people were killed and others injured in the two attacks.
“This is a very important part