Twin car bombings rocked Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday, causing “scores of casualties”.
A vehicle loaded with explosives was driven into the education ministry compound and was followed by gunfire, police officer, Ibrahim Mohamed, said.
“In a few minutes another blast occurred in the same area,” he added.
“Many bodies” were at the scene and they appeared to be civilians travelling on public transport, while the second bombing occurred in front of a busy restaurant, The Associated Press reported.
A police officer guarding the ministry, who gave his name as Hassan, said he saw at least 12 bodies and more than 20 people wounded. One hospital worker counted at least 30 bodies.
Blood from victims of the blasts covered the tarmac just outside the building.
“The ruthless terrorists killed mothers, some of them died with their children trapped on their backs,” police spokesman, Sadik Dudishe, told reporters, adding the attackers targeted “students and other civilians”.
State news agency, SONNA, said the bombings caused “scores of civilian casualties, including independent journalist, Mohamed Isse Kona”.
“Out of the total of at least 30 dead people brought to the hospital, the majority of them are women. I have seen this with my own eyes,” said Hassan Osman, a volunteer at the Medina hospital.
At the hospital, frantic relatives peeked under plastic sheeting and into body bags, looking for loved ones.
Abdikadir Abdirahman, founder of the Aamin Ambulance Service, told Reuter’s news agency a driver and a first aid worker were injured in the second blast as their ambulance came to transport casualties from the first bombing.