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Death toll from twin blasts in Somalia’s capital rises to 21

February 24, 2018

Soldiers walk through destroyed vehicles and debris following a twin car bomb attack in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Two car bomb blasts rocked Somalia's capital Friday evening, followed by gunfire, police said, and an ambulance service said more than a dozen had been killed. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Authorities say the death toll in a pair of explosions Friday evening in Somalia’s capital has risen to 21.

The director of Aamin Ambulance service, Dr. Abdirahman Abdulqadir, gave the new toll Saturday. It was confirmed by police Capt. Mohamed Hussein, who said it was based on figures from hospitals.

The two car bomb blasts shattered a months-long period of calm in Mogadishu, which is often the target of attacks by the al-Shabab extremist group.

The first blast occurred near Somalia’s intelligence headquarters and the second occurred near parliament’s headquarters.

The Somalia-based al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack via its radio arm, Andalus.

Mogadishu was the target of a truck bombing in October that killed 512 people in the deadliest attack in the Horn of Africa nation’s history.

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