More than 70 dead have been killed and about 42 others wounded on Tuesday as truck bomb was launched by Al-Qaida-linked militants in the Somali capital, local officials said.
A truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded outside the Ministry of Education on one of the central Mogadishu’s busiest streets, where students and their parents were registering for Turkish scholarships.
The Islamist militants claimed responsibility for the attack on their Web site just moments after the blast occurred.
It is the worst terrorist attack in the country since the fragile interim government retook control of the capital from Al-Shabab with the help of African Union forces.
The truck was detonated after coming to a halt at a security checkpoint at the entrance to the Ministry of Education, said Ali Hussein, a police officer in Mogadishu.
Victims were being treated for horrific wounds, said Ali Abdullahi, a nurse at Medina hospital.
“It is the most awful tragedy I have ever seen,” said Abdullahi, adding that dozens of wounded people were being brought into the hospital by the minute.
U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said he was “appalled” by Tuesday’s attack, which he called “incomprehensible.”