Car bombings near Somali education ministry kill dozens

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 Car bombings at the Somali Ministry of Education led to dozens of victims

Two car bomb blasts outside the Ministry of Education in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday killed and injured dozens of people, police and state news agency said.

Authorities said the attack was perpetrated by the Islamist group al-Shabaab, which they say targeted the Ministry of Education, a crossroads and a school.

"At 14:00 the terrorists "Al-Shabaab" carried out a terrorist attack with two explosions against civilians, including children, women and the elderly”, — police spokesman Sadiq Dudishe said.

The number of dead and wounded is being confirmed. State news agency SONNA said the explosions caused “dozens of civilian casualties, including independent journalist Mohamed Isse Kohn.”

The Somali Journalists' Syndicate has confirmed that television journalist Kona has been killed.

The first explosion took place in the ministry, then the second explosion occurred when ambulances arrived and people gathered to help the injured, police officer Noor Farah told Reuters.

Another police officer guarding the ministry said he saw at least 12 bodies and more than 20 injured.

Moments after the explosions, a large plume of smoke rose from the scene.

“A second explosion burned our ambulance when we came to pick up the victims of the first explosion”, — Abdikadir Abdirahman of Aamin's ambulance service said.

The driver and ambulance worker were injured in the blast, he said.

Al-Shabaab, which has been fighting in Somalia for more than a decade, seeks to overthrow the central government and establish its own regime based on a strict interpretation of Sharia law.

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