Somali militant group al-Shabab has set off a truck bomb in the country’s capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 60 people.
Witnesses say two suicide bombers drove the truck into a compound housing several government ministries, where it exploded Tuesday afternoon.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bombing on its website.
A local journalist told VOA’s Somali Service she counted about 20 bodies outside the buildings, 20 bodies inside, and 20 at a nearby hospital.
Managers at Mogadishu’s Medina and Bandir hospitals told VOA they had received nearly 150 people wounded in the attack.
Many of the victims were students, who came to the Ministry of Education to learn the results of exams they took to obtain scholarships in Turkey.
The Somali government condemned the attack, saying it shows the danger from terrorists is not over.
Al-Shabab pulled its fighters from Mogadishu in August, but continues to hold large sections of southern and central Somalia. The group is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s fragile transitional government in a bid to impose a strict form of Sharia, or Islamic law.
The group has carried out suicide bombings with devastating effect in the past. In late 2009, a suicide bomber killed 24 at a graduation ceremony in Mogadishu.
Last July, twin bombings in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, killed at least 76. Uganda contributes troops the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, which assists the Somali government.