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Somali leader condemns Mogadishu suicide attack as toll rises to 70


13:03, October 05, 2011

MOGADISHU, Oct.4 (Xinhua) -- Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Tuesday strongly condemned the deadly suicide attack against government building in Mogadishu as death toll rose to 70 while the injured numbered 150 others, officials said.

A statement from the Somali presidency said that President Ahmed "strongly condemned the shameful and cowardly suicide attack on innocent Somalis, many of whom were young students waiting for their results at the Ministry of Education."

The Islamist rebel group of Al Shabaab has officially claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks on government ministries in Mogadishu. Spokesman for the group said "the attacks pre-empted a plot by Somali government and African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu."

Hospitals are struggling to cope with the influx of the injured as health centers say they are running out of blood and medical supplies as dozens of injured people pour in to various hospitals.

Somali leader said the attack was an inhumane act by the radical group and sent his condolences to the people of Somalia. "I am extremely shocked and saddened by this cruel and inhumane act of violence against the most vulnerable in our society," the President said.

The Islamist movement of Al Shabaab which withdrew from Mogadishu early in August following major government offensive vowed to continue to carry out similar attacks on government targets.

A pro-Islamist website claimed the suicide bomber was a Mogadishu resident and identified the attacker as Bashar Abdulahi Nur,a Somali national, to counter an initial government report saying the attack was of foreign nationality.

The radical Islamist group with links to Al Qaeda controls much of south and centre of Somalia and has been launching insurgency attacks against targets of Somali government and AU peacekeepers in Mogadishu but civilians often bear the brunt of such attacks.


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