The Latest: 1 journalist killed, others hurt in Somali blast

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The Latest on explosion in Somalia’s capital (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

Local journalists say one freelance journalist was killed in Saturday’s massive bombing in Somalia’s capital and several were injured.

Voice of America says one of its reporters, Abdulkaidr Mohamed Abdulle, is among the injured.

Police and hospital sources say the death toll from the truck bomb in Mogadishu has risen to 189 in what is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

— Abdi Guled in Mogadishu.


2:35 p.m.

The death toll from a massive explosion in Somalia’s capital has risen to 189 with over 200 others injured, police and hospital sources say, making it the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

Doctors are struggling to assist hundreds of horrifically wounded victims, with many burnt beyond recognition.

Somalia’s government has blamed Saturday’s truck bombing in Mogadishu on the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented.

— Abdi Guled in Mogadishu.


1:25 p.m.

The United States is joining the condemnation of Saturday’s massive truck bombing in Somalia’s capital that left scores dead.

A statement by the U.S. mission to Somalia says that “such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.”

The U.S. military this year has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, which is based in Somalia and often targets Mogadishu.


1:20 p.m.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society are among the dead after a huge truck bombing in Somalia’s capital.

A statement Sunday says “this figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing.”

Security and medical sources say at least 53 people are dead after what Mogadishu residents call the largest explosion they’ve ever witnessed.

Officials have pleaded for blood donations. More than 60 people are injured.

Somalia’s government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented.


10:45 a.m.

Security and medical sources say the death toll from Saturday’s truck bomb blast in Somalia’s capital has risen to 53 as hospitals struggle to cope with the high number of casualties. More than 60 others are injured.

Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein says many victims died at hospitals from their wounds.

Somalia’s government has yet to release the exact death toll from an explosion many called the most powerful they had ever witnessed in Mogadishu.

Ambulance sirens still echo across the city as bewildered families wander in the rubble of buildings.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims.

The al-Shabab extremist group often targets high-profile areas in the capital with bombings.

Source: AP