Nearly 200 Dead in Deadliest Attack in Somalia's History

More than 200 others were injured in Sunday's blast
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 15, 2017 9:44 AM CDT
A 'Sad Day': Blast in Somalia Kills Nearly 200
Somalis help a civilian wounded in Saturday's blast, at Medina hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. The death toll from the huge truck bomb blast in Somalia's capital rose to over 50 Sunday, with more than 60 others injured, as hospitals struggled to cope with the high number of casualties,...   (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

Maryan Abdullahi's father had been preparing to fly to Somalia's capital on Sunday to attend the happiest moment in his daughter's life: her graduation day. Instead, he will bury her. On Saturday, the 22-year-old Abdullahi was making final preparations for graduation after years of medical studies when a massive truck bomb detonated in the middle of a Mogadishu street where she was travelling in a car with friends, AP reports. They were killed in what has been called the single deadliest attack in Somalia's history. At least 189 people are dead, police and hospital workers said Sunday, and more than 200 others were injured. "A sad day. Her family was so proud of her and were counting the hours before her graduation," said Amino Ahmed, Abdullahi's classmate, with tears in her reddened eyes.

As stories of the victims emerged, bewildered family members were still picking their way through the rubble Sunday. Ambulance sirens wailed, and overwhelmed hospitals pleaded for blood donations. Mogadishu, a city long accustomed to deadly bombings by the Somalia-based al-Shabab Islamic extremist group, was stunned by the force of Saturday's blast. As the huge plume of smoke began to rise, residents said the explosion was the most powerful they'd heard in years. "With a heavy heart I would say this is the worst attack I have ever witnessed," said Masoud Mohamed, who lost family members in the blast. Parts of the busy Hodan district were flattened, with concrete buildings mangled. Cars burned. Bodies were rushed away by shaken survivors, with bloodied sandals left behind. Children carried away charred remains in cardboard boxes.

(More Somalia stories.)

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