Somalia twin bombing death toll rises to 26

Somalia twin bombing death toll rises to 26
Health officials in Mogadishu say the death toll from Saturday's twin bombing is expected to rise as several victims with serious injuries fight for their lives in hospital.
2 min read
24 December, 2018
The al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for the attacks [AFP]

Police and hospital sources in Somalia say the death toll from Saturday's twin bombings in Mogadishu has risen to 26.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the number killed rose because several victims of the suicide car bomb near the rear entrance of the presidential palace died in hospitals. Hospital sources confirmed the toll could rise further as several of the wounded have severe injuries.

Among the dead were seven soldiers who were escorting a government official through a checkpoint on their way to the presidential palace.

The second smaller suicide car bomb was detonated close to an underground prison run by the country's intelligence. Last week, the government announced that it closed Godka Jilaow prison as parts of efforts aimed at improving the country's human rights record.

The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab extremist group, which often targets Mogadishu, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The group, which is considered the most active extremist group in sub-Saharan Africa, was pushed out of Mogadishu years ago but continues to control large parts of rural southern and central Somalia.

The US military, which partners with Somali forces and an African Union peacekeeping mission, has greatly increased airstrikes against al-Shabab under the Trump administration. At least 47 US strikes have been carried out this year.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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