MOGADISCIO- The double bombing of Saturday perpetrated by terrorists "shebab" near the presidential palace of Mogadishu killed 20 people, said Sunday the police, revising upward a previous record of eight dead.
"The number of victims has risen to 20 and more than 40 wounded," police chief Ibrahim Mohamed said, adding that "some of those wounded yesterday died in the hospital." "Civilians and members of the security forces are among the victims."
On Saturday, London-based Somali TV Universal TV confirmed that three of its collaborators died in the double attack, including Somali and British journalist Awil Dahir.
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as "Farmajo", denounced in a statement a "cowardly attack". "We will continue to inflict defeats on terrorists in order to bring stability and prosperity to the Somali people," he promised.
His Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire visited the wounded in the hospitals where they were admitted.
On Saturday, a first car bomb exploded at a checkpoint next to the National Theater, itself located some 500 meters from the presidential palace. The explosion of a second car bomb, more powerful according to witnesses, struck a nearby junction a few minutes later.
Mohamed Abdullahi, a senior local government official, was slightly injured in the first explosion. "Seven members of my security escort and a driver were killed," he said.
"Such attacks encourage us to redouble our efforts in the war against terrorists."
Forced out of Mogadishu in 2011, the shebab then lost most of their strongholds. But they still control large rural areas from which they carry out guerrilla operations and suicide bombings, including in the capital, against government, security or civilian objectives.
The deadliest attack in Somalia's history was perpetrated on October 14, 2017 and killed 512 people in Hodan District, a busy commercial district of Mogadishu. This attack was not claimed, but the authorities have no doubt that the Shebab are behind this attack.
The United States, which supports the fight against terrorists "shebab", has led at least 45 airstrikes against them since the beginning of the year.