Bomb blast kills 20 in Mogadishu

Other News Materials 3 August 2008 17:59 (UTC +04:00)

A roadside bomb killed 20 female cleaners and seriously injured 45 others after explosive materials hidden in a pile of rubbish exploded just after they began their work Sunday, witnesses and medical officials told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa .

The blast rocked a busy road between the Ambassador hotel and the Haji Pasto Garage in the southern part of the city where most Ethiopian soldiers are stationed.

Fadumo Dahir Igal, an eyewitness, spoke of a "terrible" scene in which blood, human flesh and body parts were strewn.

Hospital officials told dpa that around 50 people with shrapnel wounds had been brought in on wheelbarrows and minibuses for treatment.

"We have admitted so far 50 shrapnel-wounded people, mostly old aged women and children," Dr. Dahir Mhoamoud Mohamed, deputy director of Medina Hospital, told dpa at the hospital.

"Five of them instantly died in the emergency room and the 45 seriously injured others are now being given health care," he added.

Former Mogadishu mayor Mohamed Omar Habeeb went to the hospital to visit with victims, and alleged that those behind the bomb were enemies of peace.

No group has so far claimed the responsibility for the bomb attack. Last year, five women municipal street sweepers were killed in a similar blast in the southern part of Mogadishu by a bomb hidden in a pile of garbage.

The deadly bomb attack came as the political crisis in Somalia deepened over the weekend with 11 ministers of the transitional federal government resigning in protest against Prime Minister, Nur Hassan Hussein for sacking mayor Habeeb without consulting the cabinet.