Bomb blast: Gift of the Givers staff escape injury in Mogadishu

2011-10-05 00:00

A MASSIVE bomb blast in Mogadishu has left nine government ministries in disarray with rescue services searching for survivors.

All of the Gift of the Givers’ ground staff are safe, said Dr Imitiaz Sooliman of the humanitarian NGO yesterday.

“However, one of the walls in our compound broke and many windows shattered as the explosion was not too far away from the compound. Apparently body parts have been flung all over, the death toll is high and the destruction huge,” he said.

Saaleha Hashi, whose husband, Dr Hashi, is the Gift of the Givers’ co-coordinator on the ground in Somalia, was talking on the cellphone with her husband when the explosion occurred.

She said that during the conversation at exactly 11.45 am (SA time) she heard a huge bang followed by screams and shattering glass and metal in the background, and the phone went dead.

Hashi phoned back soon thereafter, shaken but safe and explained what was happening.

“He told me that there was a bomb blast and human flesh, hands and other body parts were strewn all over the place.

“The truck full of explosives was parked near the government ministries compound. Not far from the compound were two petrol tankers that fuelled the explosions as they also exploded. He said their compound was also affected with windows shattered and everything was in disarray,” she said.

By late afternoon Dr Hashi had told his wife that the ministry’s building had collapsed and the search was still on for survivors. At this stage the death toll is not known.

• chris.ndaliso@witness.co.za

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