VOA — A car bomb has ripped through a crowded market in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 20 people in one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in recent years, officials and witnesses said.
At midday local time Saturday, a suicide attacker detonated the car bomb in an open air fruit and vegetable market in the city’s Afesyoni neighborhood, authorities said.
The blast happened at the entrance to the Beerta market, which is close to Mogadishu’s main airport. White smoke could be seen billowing over the neighborhood after the blast.
“So far we have collected the dead bodies of at least 15 people and we still continue the emergency operation. There could be more,” Moa’lim Muuse, an eyewitness, told VOA Somali.
“We can confirm that the explosion happened and still we are counting the casualties. I cannot give you and exact number but I can tell you that a tragedy against civilians had occurred,” Abdifatah Omar Halane,
spokesman for the Banadir local government administration, told VOA by phone from the scene of the blast.
VOA reporters on the scene say at least 20 people were killed and more than 20 others injured in the blast.