A Somali MP on December 28 tweeted that he had been told the death toll of a blast in Mogadishu stands at more than 90, including 17 police officers. Abdikadir Abdirahman Haji Aden, the founder of Amin ambulances, told a news agency that dozens of people were also wounded. The same was reiterated by an international organization working in Somalia which told the media that at least 90 people were killed and dozens were wounded when a bomb-laden vehicle exploded at a bustling checkpoint in the Somali capital Mogadishu on December 28.
Mogadishu Mayor Omar Muhamoud also confirmed the aforementioned numbers. In a separate statement, the Somali Foreign Minister informed that the deceased included many students and two Turkish nationals. The injured were transported to Medina Hospital through ambulance cite reports. A nurse at the hospital told the media that the facility had received more than 100 wounded people. The site of the blast was cleared by the rescuers who carried the bodies past the twisted wreckage of a vehicle and a minibus taxi.
Reports claim that a small team of Turkish engineers were present at the time of the blast at the Ex-Control checkpoint, constructing a road from the checkpoint into the city. The blast destroyed the car of the engineers. Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad later tweeted that the engineers died in the blast. The same was confirmed by Turkey’s foreign ministry.
Until now no one has claimed the responsibility of the blast. Yet the area is constantly under attacks by Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab which regularly carries out such attacks in an attempt to undermine the government, which is backed by the United Nations and African Union troops. The deadliest attack in Somalia occurred in 2017 when a bomb-laden truck exploded next to a fuel tanker in Mogadishu, creating a storm of fire that killed nearly 600 people. Such attacks have become common in the area over the years. Yet the death tolls are often lower than in Saturday’s blast. This is not the first time the group hasn't claimed the responsibility of the blasts. Earlier in 2009, there was a bombing at a graduation ceremony for medical students which remained unclaimed.