Toll rises to 15 in Mogadishu twin blasts

The death toll in Saturday's twin car bombings near Somalia's presidential palace in capital Mogadishu has risen to 15 while several others were injured, officials said.
Toll rises to 15 in Mogadishu twin blasts
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The death toll in Saturday's twin car bombings near Somalia's presidential palace in capital Mogadishu has risen to 15 while several others were injured, officials said.

Mohamed Abdullahi Tulah, Deputy Governor of Mogadishu, who himself swas slightly injured in the blasts, told journalists that seven of his bodyguards were among 15 people who died in the attacks, Xinhua news agency reported.

"I can confirm that 15 people died in the blasts, seven of them were my security staff. There were also many civilians (who) lost their lives in the terror attacks," Tulah said.

A prominent journalist from the London-based Universal Television died in the twin blasts along with three of his colleagues. 

The National Intelligence and Security Agency said that it had arrested the militant who was leading the attacks.

The first car bomb detonated at a checkpoint at Somali National Theatre in the vicinity of the presidential palace. A second explosion followed in the same area.

Witnesses said the explosions were so huge that they shook the whole place.

"There were massive car bombs, causing panic among the residents. We don't know the number of casualties but we heard several people died," Mukhtar Abdi, a witness, told Xinhua.

The militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the latest attacks.

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