At least 100 people were killed after two car bombs exploded near Somalia’s education ministry in the capital Mogadishu on Saturday.
More than 300 others were injured in the attack, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a video statement posted on his official Twitter account.
Mohammed claimed that the al Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia was responsible.
“Today’s cruel and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent people by the morally bankrupt and criminal group al-Shabaab cannot discourage us, but will further strengthen our resolve to defeat them once and for all,” Mohammed tweeted.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamist group al-Shabaab has claimed other recent attacks.
“Our government and our brave people will continue to defend Somalia against evil,” Mohammed added.
The two car bombs exploded near a busy intersection in the capital and near the education ministry, according to an official in the president’s office.
The intersection, Zobe Junction, was the same location as a deadly bomb attack on October 14, 2017, which killed more than 500 people and injured around 300 others.
“God willing, no other October will happen. They won’t have the chance to do something like this,” Mohammed said, calling Saturday’s attack a repeat of the 2017 bombings.
Mohamed Moalim, who owns a restaurant near the ministry, said his wife, Fardasa Mohamed, a mother of six, tried to help the victims of the blast.
“We couldn’t stop her,” he told Reuters. “He was killed by the second blast.”
Mohamed said those injured were in serious condition and the death toll could rise.
“Our people who were massacred … included mothers with their children in their arms, fathers who had medical conditions, students who were sent to study, businessmen who were struggling with the lives of their families,” he said after visiting the scene, Reuters added. .
Abdullahi Aden said his friend, Ilyas Mohamed Warsame, was killed while traveling in his three-wheeled “tuk tuk” taxi to see relatives before returning home to Britain.
“We recognized the number plate of the tuk tuk, which was now in ruins,” Aden said.
“Exhausted and desperate, we found his body yesterday midnight at the hospital,” he said. “I can’t get the image out of my head.”