MOGADISHU: The death toll from twin attacks in central Somalia has climbed to 48. Al-Shabaab insurgents claimed they were attacking politicians ahead of elections.
A suicide bomber carried out the first hit in Hirshabelle’s Beledweyne district on Wednesday night, killing two local politicians including Amina Mohamed Abdi and several of her guards as she campaigned for re-election.
Minutes later, when an explosion occurred in a car outside Beledweyne’s health institution, where the injured were being transported for treatment, killing dozens, causing buildings to collapse, and leaving burned automobiles, twisted ruins.
“Twin bomb blasts killed 48 persons, including traders, clerics, officials, and civilians, and injured 108 others,” Hirshabelle state leader Ali Gudlawe Hussein said in a statement shared on Facebook.
Al Shabaab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group, routinely attacks civilians, military, and government officials in Somalia’s capital and beyond. Al Shabaab accepted responsibility for the twin explosions.
Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble stated in a statement late that the deaths on Wednesday were planned to sabotage the elections.
According to election commission data, 246 legislators’ data have been completed so far, ahead of the April 15 deadline.