The Al-Shabab terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a truck-bomb attack in Mogadishu that killed as many as 70 people. The Islamist rebels also launched attacks in towns in the west and south of the country.
The Mogadishu explosion was at an education ministry building and is believed to have gone off as students were queueing for free scholarships and a chance to further their education.
Estimates of the death toll stood at between 70 and 100 early Tuesday afternoon.
“One of our Mujahidin made the sacrifice to kill TFG [Transitional Federal Government] officials, the African Union troops and other informers who were in the compound,” an anonymous Shabab official a local news agency.
Al Shabab, which was driven from Mogadishu by African Union troops in August, have launched attacks in two other smaller towns.
Late Monday they attacked Dhusamareb, near the Ethiopian border, retreating after exchanges of fire with the pro-government Sufi Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa militia.
And there was violence in Dhobley, near the southern border with Kenya, according to the UN refugee agency, which said the group was worsening the humanitarian situation and pushing hunderds of thousands of Somalians to the brink of starvation.