Mogadishu explosion death toll rises to 85

MOSCOW — The death toll from Saturday’s blast in the Somali capital has risen from 40 in previous reports to 85. No terror group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

At least 85 people were killed and 250 injured in a recent explosion in Mogadishu, media said Sunday, citing city’s ambulance service.

Some reports say a car exploded on a busy street in the capital of Somalia lined with government offices, hotels, restaurants and shops.

Following the attack, Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo declared a three-day national mourning beginning on Sunday.

None of the local terror groups have claimed responsibility for the blast. However, Somalia has suffered and continued to suffer from numerous terror attacks carried out by the al-Shabaab group, linked to al-Qaeda.

Somalia has been experiencing violence since the eruption of the civil war between the clan-based armed factions in the country in the early 1990s. The state’s collapse provided a breeding ground for warlords, pirates and terrorist groups such as al-Shabaab linked to al-Qaeda (banned in Russia), which seeks the establishment of a state ruled by Sharia law.

The United States has been fighting against terror in Somalia and conducting airstrikes against al-Shabaab since the George W. Bush years. Former President Barack Obama expanded the scope of the air strikes against al-Shabaab as the organization grew in power and prominence in the Somali Civil War, which has pitted al-Qaeda and affiliated groups such as Daesh against the Somali government and its western allies.

President Donald Trump granted AFRICOM the authority to conduct lethal action against al-Shabaab within a geographically-defined area of hostile activities in support of partner force in Somalia.