Death toll from Mogadishu terrorist attack surpasses 230, lawmaker says

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-15 23:40:24|Editor: Yamei
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Photo taken on Oct. 14, 2017 shows the explosion site near Safari hotel in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia. (Xinhua/Faisal Isse)

MOGADISHU, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Over 230 people have been confirmed dead while 288 sustained injuries following a terrorist attack at a busy inter-section in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday, a lawmaker said on Sunday.

First deputy speaker of the Upper House of the Somali parliament, Abshir Mohamed Ahmed, confirmed the latest casualty figures to reporters, saying emergency assistance for the injured has been intensified.

"Myself and other members of the Upper house of Somalia Parliament attended the funeral of several people who died in yesterday's deadly incident in Mogadishu," said Abshir. "We visited both Madina and a Turkish-run hospital and gathered from medical officers that 230 dead bodies were admitted there."

Mogadishu residents on Sunday came out in large numbers to donate blood to help save the lives of injured victims.

The African Union (AU) and the United States on Sunday condemned the Saturday afternoon terrorist attack, pledging support to help Somalia eradicate the scourge of violent extremism.

The special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, ambassador Francisco Madeira, urged collective resolve by Somali people and their allies to defeat terrorism.

"It is this strength and resilience of the great people of Somalia that will contain and defeat Al-Shabaab and continue to pave the way for the rebuilding of the country," said Madeira.

"We should together transform this tragic attack into renewed strength and resolve to continue working to restore peace and stability in Somalia," he added.

The United States condemned the deadliest terrorist attack in Mogadishu in recent times and promised to support efforts to root out terror in the Horn of African state.

"Such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somalia and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism to promote stability and prosperity for the Somali people and their regional neighbors," Washington said in a statement.

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KEY WORDS: Somalia