MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The most powerful bomb blast ever witnessed in Somalia’s capital killed at least 231 people with more than 275 injured, a senator said Sunday, making it the deadliest single attack in this Horn of Africa nation. The toll could continue to rise.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed cited doctors at overwhelmed hospitals he visited in Mogadishu a day after a truck bomb targeted a crowded street near key government ministries, including foreign affairs. Many of the bodies in mortuaries had not yet been identified, he said.
As angry protesters gathered near the scene of the attack, Somalia’s government blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group for what it called a “national disaster.” However, Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital, had yet to comment.

Al-Shabab earlier this year vowed to step up attacks after both the Trump administration and Somalia’s recently elected president announced new military efforts against the group.

The Mogadishu bombing is one of the deadliest attacks in sub-Saharan Africa, larger than the Garissa University attack in Kenya in 2015 and the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.