At least 100 people were killed on Saturday after two car bombs exploded near Somalia’s education ministry in the capital Mogadishu.
More than 300 others were injured in the attack, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a video statement posted on his official Twitter account.
Mohamud claimed the terrorist group al-Shabaab in Somalia was responsible.
“Today’s cruel and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent people by the morally bankrupt and criminal al-Shabaab group cannot discourage us, but will further strengthen our resolve to defeat them once and for all,” he write Mohamud on Twitter.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamist group al-Shabaab has claimed other recent attacks.
“Our government and brave people will continue to defend Somalia against evil,” Mohamud added.
The two car bombs exploded near a busy intersection in the capital and near the Ministry of Education, an official in the president’s office said.
The intersection, Zobe Junction, was the same site of a deadly attack on October 14, 2017, which killed more than 500 people and injured around 300 others.
“By the will of God, there will not be another October like this one. They won’t have the chance to do something like this,” Mohamud said, calling Saturday’s attack a repeat of the 2017 attacks.
Mohamed Moalim, who owns a restaurant near the ministry, said his wife, Fardawsa Mohamed, a mother of six, tried to help the victims of the blast.
“We couldn’t stop her,” he told Reuters. “They killed her in the second blast.”
Mohamud said the injured were in serious condition and the death toll could rise.
“Our people who were massacred … included mothers with their children in their arms, fathers who had medical conditions, students who were sent to study, businessmen who were struggling with the lives of their families,” he said after visit the scene. Reuters added.
Abdullahi Aden said his friend, Ilyas Mohamed Warsame, died while traveling in his three-wheeled “tuk tuk” taxi to see relatives before returning home to Britain.
“We recognized the license plate of the tuk tuk, which was now rubbish,” Aden said.
“Exhausted and desperate, we found his body at midnight last night in the hospital,” he said. “I can’t get the image out of my head.”