Death toll rises to at least 30 after Mogadishu marketplace attack

The death toll from a blast in the Somali capital has risen to at least 34, reports Associated Press(AP).

A Somali police officer confirmed also saying 52 others were injured when the car bomb went off at a busy marketplace west of the capital, Mogadishu.

Many of the dead were carried away by their relatives soon after the blast, said Captain Mohamed Hussein.

“It was a horrific and barbaric attack only aimed at killings civilians,” he said from the scene of the blast.

The death toll could rise as some people sustained horrifying injuries.

The blast by a car bomb parked near a restaurant went off at a busy time when shoppers and traders were gathered inside the market, said district commissioner Ahmed Abdulle.

No group has yet claimed responsibility but militant group al-Shabaab is the main suspect. Its leader at the weekend said al-Shabaab is opposed to newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. It is feared that the group may target the presidential inauguration scheduled for Wednesday. The al-Shabaab leader also referred the new president as “evil-minded”, recalling his eight-month tenure as the prime minister of Somalia in 2010 and 2011, during which the extremists lost control of Mogadishu, the capital.

President Farmajo himself has vowed to wipe out al Shabaab in two years.

It is the first major attack in Mogadishu since Farmajo won the presidential elections.