On Saturday, December 28th 2019, a suicide car bomb detonated in Mogadishu, Somalia. The blast left at least 79 killed and 149 injured.
Since the blast the death toll has continued to climb.
The blast occurred in rush hour near a checkpoint on the outskirts of the capital. At least 15 university students were killed in the attack as they waited to go through the checkpoint.
While the attack has not been claimed, it is likely that Al Shabaab carried out the bombing.
Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.
In 2018, Somalia was one of the countries that saw a significant decrease in civilian harm from explosive violence (with a 48% decrease in civilian casualties from 1,582 to 832). Nevertheless, Somalia was still the sixth worst impacted country from explosive weapons, with 832 civilian casualties from such violence.
Of these civilian casualties, 94% were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) – 64% were from incidents using suicide attacks.
However, Somalia saw civilian casualties from explosive violence increase by 34% in the first six months of 2019, compared to the same period last year; from 311 in the first half of 2018 to 416 in 2019. While the latter half of 2019 had seen less casualties, it is likely that this latest attack will cause us to see a slight rise in casualties overall this year, compared to 2018.
AOAV calls for states and international organisations to work collaboratively to generate greater awareness of the number of civilians killed and injured each year by IEDs, and encourage a greater stigma from political, religious and social leaders on the use of IEDs. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.
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