On Sunday, a terrorist attack rocked Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. The perpetrator planned to target a government building, Howlwadag district headquarters, in the city. However, as he drove full speed towards the building, he was stopped at a checkpoint by security forces, triggered by his suspicious behavior. As a result, he detonated at the check point, too early for his target but still close enough to create some definite damage. The government building was destroyed.
The three soldiers that stopped the car were the first three victims, and another three civilians, including two children, were also killed. At least another additional 14 people were injured, including six children, who all now need intensive care, the Aamin Ambulance service acknowledged. The deputy district commissioner, Ibrah Hassan Matan, was one of those wounded in the attack.
“[The attacker] literally failed to achieve their goal of inflicting maximum casualties,” police captain Mohamed Hussein said.
However, many children were injured or killed in this attack. This is because the terrorist could not get close enough to his intended target and detonated early, and so he ended up doing so next to a nearby Quranic school. The school was open during the attack, but many of the students were on a break and out of the building by the time it occurred.
Many nearby buildings were also destroyed or majorly impacted, such as a mosque whose roof was blown off, which may cause them to later collapse and injure or kill more people as a result of this attack.
“I saw bodies strewn on the ground after the explosion before the ambulances and the paramedics reached the scene and the whole scene was very ugly,” witness Halima Mohamed told The Indian Express. A journalist for Reuters who happened to be on the scene also reportedly witnessed a severed hand and much blood as Mogadishu residents combed through the rubble of the destroyed buildings in their search for survivors.
“We are behind the suicide attack. We targeted the district office in which there was a meeting. We killed 10 people so far, we shall give details later.” said Abdiasis Abu Musab, the military operations spokesman for Al-Shabab, a terrorist organization in Somalia with close ties to Al-Qaeda, while claiming credit for the attack. The Somalia based terrorist organization also took credit for a car bombing in Mogadishu that took place in October of 2017 that killed more than 512 people.