The death toll from last week’s truck bombing in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has risen to at least 358, making it one of the deadliest terror attacks in modern history. The death toll is expected to rise as dozens of people remain missing.
The attack happened last Saturday when a large truck filled with explosives was detonated on a busy street near the Safari Hotel, causing a huge explosion which then ignited a nearby fuel tanker. Several buildings were completely destroyed.
Somali Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman confirmed on late Friday night that the death toll had risen to at least 358. Another 228 people were injured in the blast, including 122 people who were airlifted to Turkey, Sudan, and Kenya for treatment.
The death toll is expected to rise as 56 people are still missing, which could push the death toll beyond 400. Some of the victims may never be found because of the intense heat generated by the explosion.
A confirmed death toll of 358 already makes it one of the deadliest terror attacks in modern history, surpassed only by the school hostage crisis in Russia in 2004, the 1978 attack on Cinema Rex in Iran, the 2007 bombings against the Yazidi communities in Iraq, and the attacks in the U.S. in 2001.
No group has claimed responsibility for last week’s bombing, but attacks in Somalia are usually carried out by the al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab, which has vowed to fight the administration of President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed.
Al-Shabaab was the militant wing of the Somali Council of Islamic Courts which seized most of southern Somalia in the second half of 2006. The militant group later lost ground before it pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012.
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