Two car bomb explosions at Somalia's education ministry rocked the capital Mogadishu on Saturday and blew out windows of nearby buildings, witnesses and the emergency services said. Islamist group al Shabaab frequently carries out bombings and gun attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere, but it was unclear if it was behind the latest blasts.
"Two car bombs targeted the education ministry building along K5 street,” an inhabitant Ahmed Nur told Reuters. The first explosion hit the walls of the ministry while the second blast occurred as ambulances arrived and people gathered to help the victims, police captain Nur Farah told Reuters.
"The second blast burnt our ambulance as we came to transport the casualty from the first blast,” Abdikadir Abdirahman, founder of the Aamin Ambulance Service told Reuters, adding a driver and a first aid worker had been injured in the blast. He said they had not yet determined if there were any fatalities or how many people had been injured in both blasts. Al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab, which has been fighting in Somalia for more than a decade, is seeking to topple the central government and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of sharia law.
A Reuters journalist near the blast site said the two explosions occurred within minutes of each other and smashed windows in the vicinity.