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Death toll in Mogadishu 'al Shabaab' bombing attack rises to 32

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- At least 32 people have been confirmed dead in Friday’s twin bombing attacks in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, with most of the casualties being beach-goers.

A police officer who declined to be named told Xinhua on Saturday that the death toll had risen as several beach-goers succumbed to their injuries in various hospitals in the city.

"I can say so far we know 32 people have died in the Friday attacks in Mogadishu," the officer said.

"The casualties increased since most of those injured, mainly young people who were from the Lido beach, died of injuries."

Al-Shabaab militants have claimed responsibility for the double car bombing attacks, one targeting the presidential palace and the other went off near the intelligence headquarters.

Somali security forces killed all five militants at the entrance of Villa Somalia, the presidential palace.

One presidential guard was killed.

The militants were dressed in police uniform and drove vehicles painted in police colors, evading several checkpoints before arriving at their targets.

Mogadishu mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman said on Saturday that most of those killed were teenagers going home from Lido beach, which is near the intelligence headquarters.

On Oct. 14 last year, a truck bomb hit Mogadishu, killing more than 500 people.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Somali government had laid blame on the al-Shabaab terror group.


UN chief condemns car bomb attacks in Somalia

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday strongly condemned Friday’s attacks in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, which claimed the lives of many civilians, his spokesman said.

Guterres extended his profound condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and government of Somalia, and commended the response of the Somali security forces and the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, spokesman Stephne Dujarric said in a statement.

The secretary-general reiterated the full support of the United Nations to the Somali authorities in their fight against terrorism and their pursuit of a peaceful and stable Somalia, said the statement.

Two suicide car bomb blasts in Mogadishu on Friday have left at least 38 people dead and dozens others injured.


Somali forces repulse militant attack on presidential palace

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia security forces on Friday foiled a terror attack at the presidential palace following twin explosions that rocked the capital city within an interval of about 15 minutes.

A police officer, Ahmed Abdulle, told Xinhua that security forces manning the presidential palace repulsed militants who were trying to storm into the palace, killing three of them.

"They tried to storm into Villa Somalia but our forces fought them back.

"The forces were pursuing the vehicle as it headed towards the palace but exploded before reaching the target," Abdulle told Xinhua.

The first explosion went off at around 6 p.m. local time, when a vehicle loaded with explosives hit the newly opened Dorbin hotel near the intelligence headquarters.

A second expolsion went off shortly after near Villa Somalia.

Witnesses recounted of the turn of the events.

"We heard a huge explosion followed by a lot of gunfire near the parliament building.

"We were told Sayidka hotel was being attacked," Yasmin Mohamed said.

Militant group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came barely a day after Security Minister Mohamed Islow warned of a minivan loaded with explosives in Mogadishu.

Security forces have in the past week cordoned off roads and launched major security operations in the city amid reports of an impending attack.



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