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More than 30 killed in twin attacks in central Somalia

MOGADISHU (AFP) – The death toll from twin attacks in central Somalia on Wednesday night has climbed above 30, the police chief in Beledweyne district told AFP yesterday.

“We are still trying to establish the overall number of casualties, but so far we have confirmed that more than 30 people were killed in the second blast alone, which was caused by a car bomb,” said Colonel Isak Ali Abdulle.

“The terrorists carried out the first attack using a suicide bomber and readied a car loaded with explosives in front of a hospital to cause more casualties,” he said.

“These were devastating simultaneous attacks which damaged property as well as causing mass civilian casualties.”

The first attack in Beledweyne killed two local lawmakers, including Amina Mohamed Abdi and several of her guards as she campaigned for re-election. The second occurred minutes later outside the hospital and left cars in charred, twisted ruins.

The attacks occurred the same day as three people were killed near Mogadishu’s airport in an attack claimed by the insurgent group Al-Shabaab.

The Al-Qaeda-linked extremists frequently attack civilian, military and government targets in Somalia’s capital and outside.