Truck Bombings, Somalia worst terrorist attack, 500 casualties

Two truck bombs killed at least 230 people in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia on Saturday.

The bombings were the deadliest in the decade-long war with Islamist extremists signaling that insurgency is far from defeated despite years of US counterterrorism operations.

Nearly all of the dead were killed by first bomb which exploded outside a popular hotel on a busy road in Hodan district, security forces said. The second blast took place nearby.

The Qatar Embassy was severely damaged in the explosion, foreign ministry said in a statement.

Rescue workers on the ground said it would be difficult to determine a definitive death toll, because the blast generated intense heat where remains of several people may never be found.

There has been no immediate claim of responsible for the deadly blast but, Shabab – a Somalia-based extremist group has recently stepped up attacks on army bases and central parts of the country.

The blast has happened two days after the head of Unites States Africa Command arrived in Mogadishu to meet with Somalia’s president after country’s defense minister and army chief resigned for undisclosed reasons.

US military has increased drone strikes this year against Shabah, an Al Qaeda-aligned group.

President Mohamed Avdullahi Mohamed has declared three days of national mourning and called for donations of blood and funds to help victims.

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