First Published: 2017-10-21

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358
Major jump in fatality toll from October 14 truck bombing as Somali authorities struggle to cope with number of causlaties.
Middle East Online

Somalis pray at site of deadly truck bombing.

MOGADISHU - Somalia's deadliest ever attack, a truck bomb in the capital Mogadishu, has now killed 358 people with 228 more injured, the government said late Friday, a major jump in the fatality toll.

A truck packed with explosives blew up in Hodan on October 14, destroying some 20 buildings in the bustling commercial district, leaving scores of victims burned beyond recognition.

Several experts have said the truck was probably carrying at least 500 kilos (1,100 pounds) of explosives.

"The latest number of casualties 642 (358 dead, 228 injured, 56 missing). 122 injured ppl flown to Turkey, Sudan & Kenya," Somali Minister of Information Abdirahman Osman tweeted.

The figures mark a sharp increase in the toll, which earlier this week was put at 276 dead and 300 wounded.

The attack has overwhelmed Somalia's fragile health system, and allies from the US, Qatar, Turkey and Kenya have sent planeloads of medical supplies as well as doctors, with all except the US also evacuating some of the wounded.

Death tolls are notoriously difficult to establish in Mogadishu, with families often quickly taking victims away to be buried.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, but Al-Shabaab, a militant group aligned with Al-Qaeda, carries out regular suicide bombings in Mogadishu in its bid to overthrow Somalia's internationally-backed government.

The group has a history of not claiming attacks whose scale provokes massive public outrage.

Already more than 100 unidentified people have been buried who were burned beyond recognition.

While the rapid burial is partly due to Islamic culture, the Somali government also has no proper morgue nor the capability to carry out forensic tests to identify the victims.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed vowed Wednesday to step up the war against Al-Shabaab, saying that the attack showed "that we have not done enough to stop Shabaab."

"If we don't respond to this now, the time will surely come when pieces of flesh from all of us are being picked up off the ground. We need to stand up together and fight Al-Shabaab who continue massacring our people," he said.

However it was unclear what Farmajo -- who came into office eight months ago also vowing to eliminate Al-Shabaab -- planned to do to stop the militants from carrying out such attacks.

The previous most deadly attack in Somalia killed 82 people and injured 120 in October 2011.

 

UN Security Council lenient to Turkey’s Syria offensive

Washington probes Hezbollah ‘narcoterrorism’

Tillerson to present US strategy on Syria to European, Arab allies

Russia pension funds may invest in Aramco IPO

Iranian woman skydiver looks to break down stereotypes

Palestinians in occupied West Bank get 3G internet

Turkish army clashes with Kurdish militia amid US alarm

Turkey arrests dozens accused of ‘terror propaganda’

Three French female jihadists face possible death penalty in Iraq

Women journalists protest separation during Pence visit to Jerusalem

Egypt military accuses presidential hopeful of committing crimes

Israeli minister calls to ban author praising Palestinian teen

Qatar supports Turkey’s offensive against Kurds

World powers meet on Syria chemical attacks

Morocco's king appoints five new ministers

Pence pledges US embassy move by end of 2019 on Jerusalem trip

Russia calls for diplomatic solution to Yemen conflict

Russia invites Kurds to join Syria peace process

Turkey shells Kurdish targets in northern Syria

Closer look at pro-Ankara rebels amassing around Afrin

Pence set for Palestinian snub

Abbas to ask EU to recognise Palestinian state

Saudi-led coalition to give $1.5 bln in Yemen aid

Mattis: Turkey gave US advance warning on Syria operation

Yemen releases budget for first time in three years

Saudi calls for cooperation between OPEC, non-OPEC countries

France presses Turkey to end offensive against Kurds

The changing faces of al-Qaeda in Syria

Kurdish militia fire rockets at Turkish town

Moroccans wary depreciation of dirham could raise cost of living, despite benefits

Deserted streets, terrified civilians after Turkey attacks Afrin

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs