Somalis search for survivors after a huge explosion in the capital, Mogadishu.
Somalis search for survivors after a huge explosion in the capital, Mogadishu. Farah Abdi Warsameh

Huge truck bomb kills hundreds

A TRUCK packed with several hundred kilograms of explosives has been detonated in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 276 people and injuring 300.

The truck was reportedly stopped at a checkpoint before accelerating, crashing through a barrier and exploding in central Mogadishu, close to the busy Safari Hotel and the Foreign Ministry.

The blast was the most powerful yet in the seaside city of two million.

It largely destroyed the hotel, leaving rescue workers to search through the rubble for survivors.

The Somalian government blamed the attack on Islamist extremist group al-Shabab that has long attacked Mogadishu and earlier this year vowed to step up attacks in response to threats from the Trump administration and new Somalian president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

Associated Press reported Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre said of the attackers: "They don't care about the lives of Somali people, mothers, fathers and children. They have targeted the most populated area in Mogadishu, killing only civilians.”

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.



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