11 dead in car bomb attack outside Mogadishu shopping mall

World Today

Rescuers retrieve the body of a civilian who was killed, from under the rubble after a blast in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. A Somali police officer says a number of people died in a powerful car bomb explosion near a mall close to local government offices in Somalia’s capital Monday. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

At least 11 are killed in a car bombing in Somalia. It happened outside a shopping mall in Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, as well as for one that killed a port manager in the northern part of the country. CGTN’s Abdulaziz Billow reports.

Rescuers and volunteers race to pull survivors and dead bodies out of the rubble as paramedics arrive on the scene to ferry the wounded to hospital. On Monday morning, a car loaded with explosives detonated outside this popular shopping mall in central Mogadishu.

“We have transported four injured victims to safety,” said this paramedic. “We carried one dead body to the hospital and retrieved two others from the rubble. Other emergency service operators were also on the scene and transported more victims and bodies.”

The mall, popular among young people in the city, is located in Mogadishu’s Hamarweyne district. The premises are also adjacent to local government buildings, meaning security is always tight in that area.

Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the blast, saying they were targeting security personnel manning the heavily fortified perimeter that also contains offices for the mayor of Mogadishu.

It remains unclear how the bomber drove the vehicle undetected all the way to the mall despite dozens of security checkpoints. Meanwhile, security forces have been beefed up around the popular market in fear of more attacks by the terrorist group.

The Somali government hasn’t commented on Monday’s attack, but the bombing raises fresh concerns as to whether the country’s security forces are ready to go it alone against an armed group that has waged an armed insurgency in the country for over a decade now.