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Twin Car Bombings Kill Nearly 40 in Somalia's Mogadishu
Twin Car Bombings Kill Nearly 40 in Somalia's Mogadishu

Twin Car Bombings Kill Nearly 40 in Somalia's Mogadishu

Twin Car Bombings Kill Nearly 40 in Somalia's Mogadishu

Twin car bombings and subsequent gunfire have left at least 38 people dead and 20 others wounded in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, medical workers said.
A loud explosion reportedly took place on Friday, followed by a second blast and sustained gunfire which broke out near the president's residence. The second blast took place beside a popular hotel, Al Jazeera reported.
The Aamin Ambulance service, which confirmed the death toll, transported victims to the hospital.
The terrorist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
A gun battle followed the attack near the presidential palace in which five militants were killed, officials say.
Friday's bombings are the latest in a series of attacks attributed to al-Shabab, which once controlled Mogadishu before being forced out by African Union troops in 2011.
"As far as we know, there has been one blast beside the presidential palace, and another close to a popular hotel," Major Mohamed Ahmed, a police officer, told local media.
The attack comes a day after the Somali government had issued a "terror warning" in the capital.
The explosions shattered a months-long period of calm in Mogadishu, which is often the target of attacks by al-Shabab.
Last October, more than 500 people were killed by a truck bomb in the city. Officials blamed al-Shabab but the group never said it was behind that attack.
In December, 18 police officers were killed when an al-Shabab fighter blew himself up inside the country's main police academy in Mogadishu.
The capital was also the target of a truck bombing in October that killed 512 people in the deadliest attack in Somalia's history. The Somali government blamed that blast on the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab.
Ina n unrelated news, suspected Somali pirates attacked a Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker on Friday but were repelled by guards on board, the European Union’s Naval force said, the first such incident in several months, Reuters reported.
EU Navfor said in a statement the 50,000 metric tonne MT Leopard Sun was sailing from Sohar in Oman to Cape Town, South Africa, when it was attacked by two skiffs 160 nautical miles (295 km) off the coast of Somalia.
“The skiffs approached from the stern and fired upon her, after which the on-board Private Armed Security Team returned fire with warning shots,” EU Navfor said.
The incident lasted around 20 minutes, and the vessel and crew were safe.
The attack, likely to be piracy related, was the first of its kind in the area since November 2017, EU Navfor said.

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