Death toll rises to 189 in Somali truck bomb attack

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo declared three days of national mourning and donated blood Sunday as the death toll from a truck bomb blast in Mogadishu rose to 189.

"Terror won't win," Farmaajo said after visiting some of the scores of wounded at hospitals in the capital. "I call on our citizens to come out, extend help, donate blood and comfort the bereaved. Let’s get through this together."

The blast destroyed multiple buildings and set several nearby cars and trucks ablaze. The Associated Press, citing police and hospital sources, put the death toll at 189. Abshir Mohamed Ahmed, the deputy speaker of Somalia's upper house of parliament, told the Voice of America the death toll may have surpassed 230.

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. He blamed the attack on the militant al-Shabab jihadist group, which has not commented on the attack. The group has carried out a series of attacks in recent years aimed at toppling Farmaajo's government.

The United States and the United Nations condemned the attack.

Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adem, director of the Amin ambulance service, said it was the most deadly bombing "ever in Mogadishu in a single day.”
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