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Death Toll Up to 27 in Central Somalia Bombings


The death toll from Sunday's double suicide car bombing in central Somalia has risen to 27, with nearly 90 others injured, according to doctors.

The director of the Galkayo Medical Center, Dr. Abdulkadir Mohamud Jama says the wounds sustained by the victims are unusually complicated.

“One person, a man, is paralyzed, some have lost eyes, some with broken bones, some suffered injuries in the abdomen,” he told VOA.

He said all of the injuries were caused by shrapnel. He said most of the victims have at least five pieces of shrapnel in their body. “These shrapnel are unlike anything we have seen before,” Dr. Jama said.

“These are big metal shrapnel, with about 10 sharp edges that pierced in body; it’s even harder to remove them.”

Jama said his hospital received support from student volunteers of a nearby medical university. He said the students have helped with the care and emergency services provided to the victims.

“Our staff and doctors worked extra shifts but the biggest human resources came from the students, some of them stayed overnight at the hospital,” he said.

Two explosions targeted a local government building in the central Somalia town of Galkayothat, in the semi-autonomous Puntland region, Aug. 21, 2016.

Two explosions targeted a local government building in the central Somalia town of Galkayothat, in the semi-autonomous Puntland region, Aug. 21, 2016.

The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the bombing, the single deadliest attack the group has committed in the relatively stable, semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

The target was a Galkayo government building which houses the mayor of town and other government officials.

Pictures taken after the explosions show massive destruction of buildings. The impact of the explosions destroyed windows and rooftops of homes far away from the targeted building, and did considerable damage to a nearby market.

Shops and business stalls that survived the attack remained closed on Monday.

“What happened was ugly,” said Abdulkadir Mohamed Farah, a trader in the Dayah business center. “The market is destroyed, you only hear the creaking noise of the metals, there is no electricity, and the area is still cordoned off.”

Deputy President of Puntland Abdihakim Abdullahi Amey visited the scene today. He said a delegation of regional ministers who were in the town over the past few days may have been the target.

He appealed to residents to report “suspicious” people to the security forces.

“I say to everyone, if you see a suspicious person passing by or you see one in the restaurant report them to the security forces,” he said. "If you have lived this town long enough you can spot new faces.”

The Somali government and the United States condemned the attack.

Galkayo, some 700 kilometers northeast of Mogadishu is a city divided into north and south by clan rivalry. The north, where the explosion occurred, is controlled by Puntland, while the south is administered by the region of Galmudug.

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