Witness: worst tragedy ever seen in Somali capital

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- The head of a Somali ambulance service says a truck bomb detonated in Mogadishu today is the worst tragedy he's ever seen in the capital.

Ali Muse says at least 70 people have died and more than 40 were wounded, and he says he expects the death toll to rise.

Officials say Islamist militants detonated the bomb in front of the education ministry as students and parents crowded around to learn about scholarships.

It was the deadliest bomb attack in Somalia by al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked group that began its insurgency five years ago.

A worker at the information ministry, who lost a finger, says "dozens of dead bodies" were scattered over the area.

A nurse at a hospital says the facility is treating people who've lost limbs and have been blinded.

(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)

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