The United Nations in Somalia has strongly condemned Saturday’s blasts in the capital city, Mogadishu.
In a tweet against the wanton destruction of lives and property by terrorists who are suspected to be al-Shabab fighters, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) described the act as “barbaric bombings” which targeted civilians in Mogadishu.
Over 20 dead bodies were reportedly counted at the scene, and the death toll was expected to rise with many people buried in the rubble.
The head of UNSOM and UN Special Representative of Secretary-General in the country Michael Keating tweeted that he was “horrified” by the attacks.
He extended his “deepest condolences” to the families and friends of the dead and injured.
According to media reports, a massive car bomb detonated outside the entrance to a hotel in the city’s K5 junction, which is home to government offices, hotels and restaurants.
Later in the day, a second bombing was reported in the city’s Madina district.
In 2015, a UN official Amina Noor Mohamed was shot and killed by an unknown gunmen in a Mogadishu shooting. He was traveling in a car driven by a staff member from a UNHCR partner organization. Another female official of the organization was later reported dead in the shooting.
In 2013, al-Shabab was also blamed for an attack at a UN compound in Mogadishu. Not less than 15 people, including four foreigners, reportedly died in the bombing and gun fight.
UN Secretary-General urged all Somalis “to unite in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism and work together in building a functional and inclusive federal state.”