Twin blasts in Somalia kill 48
Three attacks in one day were carried out by Al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia.
The death toll from twin attacks in central Somalia has reached 48, the leader of Hirshabelle state confirmed Thursday, with Al-Shabaab terrorist group claiming they were targeting politicians ahead of elections.
The first attack in Hirshabelle's Beledweyne District was carried out on Wednesday night by a suicide bomber and killed two local lawmakers.
Minutes later, a car bomb exploded outside Beledweyne's main hospital where the injured were being taken for treatment, killing dozens, causing buildings to collapse, and leaving vehicles in charred, twisted ruins.
"As far as we can confirm, 48 people were killed and 108 others injured in the twin blasts," said Ali Gudlawe Hussein, leader of Hirshabelle state, adding that emergency workers had found bodies buried under debris.
Three killed in Al-Shabaab attack near Mogadishu airport
The bombings occurred the same day as three people were killed in a separate attack near Mogadishu's airport that was also claimed by Al-Shabaab.
The Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists frequently target civilian, military, and government targets in Somalia's capital and outside.
Two Al-Shabaab terrorists shot dead
Earlier on Wednesday, security forces shot dead two gunmen who attempted to storm a heavily fortified area of the Somali capital Mogadishu near the city's main airport.
The airport complex houses the United Nations, aid agencies, foreign missions and contractors, and the headquarters of the African Union military mission, AMISOM.
Three people were killed in that attack: a police officer, an AMISOM soldier, and a civilian.
Al-Shabaab still hold territory in Mogadishu countryside
Al-Shabaab has been seeking to overthrow the country's government for over a decade.
The terrorist group controlled Mogadishu until 2011 when it was pushed out by AMISOM troops, but it still holds territory in the countryside.
The Somali lower house election is now due to be completed on March 31, paving the way for lawmakers to pick a president.