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The Latest: Qatar diplomatic mission hit in Somali blast

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The Latest on the explosion in Somalia's capital (all times local): 7:30 a.m. Qatar's foreign minister says his country's diplomatic mission in Somalia was hit by the massive truck bombing in Mogadishu.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Twitter early Monday morning: "The attack on (hashtag)Qatar diplomatic mission in Mogadishu will not deter our support for (hashtag)Somalia's democracy, security and stability."

He did not elaborate. It was unclear if any Qataris were hurt in the blast. Officials in Doha did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Somalia has found itself torn by the boycott by four Arab nations of Qatar.

Saudi Arabia is the Somali government's biggest benefactor, while the United Arab Emirates has trained the country's military and launched a high-profile aid appeal this year. Somalia has meanwhile allowed Qatari aircraft to increasingly fly through its airspace as Arab nations have closed theirs off.

A Somali state in September broke with Somalia's central government in Mogadishu, saying it backed the boycotting nations.

Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

12:45 a.m.

Somalia's information minister Abdirahman Osman says the death toll from Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu has risen to 276, with about 300 people injured.

It is the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history. The toll is expected to rise.

Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not yet commented.

12:40 a.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is "sickened" by the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history.

Guterres in a tweet Sunday night urged "unity in the face of terrorism."

Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu killed at least 231 people. Another 275 are hurt. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not yet commented.

Officials fear the death toll will rise.

10:05 p.m.

The United States is condemning "in the strongest terms" the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history.

The State Department statement expresses condolences to victims and wishes a quick recovery for the injured.

Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu killed at least 231 people. Another 275 are hurt.

The U.S. calls the attack "senseless and cowardly" and says it will stand with Somalia in its fight against extremism.

6:35 p.m.

Qatar says its embassy was "severely damaged" in the deadly truck bombing in Somalia's capital.

A foreign ministry statement Sunday says the embassy's charge d'affaires was "slightly injured in the explosion but he is now in a good health, and the rest of staff are fine."

Saturday's blast killed at least 231 people. It is the deadliest ever attack in the Horn of Africa nation.

5:50 p.m.

The United Nations special envoy to Somalia calls the deadly truck bombing in the capital "revolting" and says an unprecedented number of civilians have been killed.

A statement from Michael Keating says: "I am shocked and appalled by the number of lives that were lost in the bombings and the scale of destruction they caused." Saturday's blast struck a densely populated neighborhood of Mogadishu.

The death toll has risen to 231. It is the deadliest ever attack in the Horn of Africa nation.

Keating says the U.N. and African Union are supporting the Somali government's response with "logistical support, medical supplies and expertise."

5:45 p.m.

The U.S. Africa Command says U.S. forces have not been asked to provide aid following Saturday's deadly attack in Somalia's capital.

A U.S. Africa Command spokesman tells The Associated Press that first responders and local enforcement would handle the response and "the U.S. would offer assistance if and when a request was made."

A Somali senator says the death toll from the massive truck bomb blast in Mogadishu has risen to 231, with 275 people injured.

It is the deadliest ever attack in the Horn of Africa nation.

5:35 p.m.

Angry protesters have taken to the streets in Somalia's capital a day after a massive truck bomb killed at least 231 people.

The protesters who gathered at the scene of the blast are chanting against the attack, the deadliest ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

The government has blamed the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group for what it calls a "national disaster." Al-Shabab has not commented but often targets Mogadishu with bombings.

5:20 p.m.

A senator says the death toll from a massive truck bomb blast in Somalia's capital has risen to 231.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed says 275 others were injured. He cites doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu.

Saturday's blast is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

Many of the bodies in hospital mortuaries are yet to be identified.

3:05 p.m.

Local journalists say one freelance journalist was killed in Saturday's massive bombing in Somalia's capital and several were injured.

Voice of America says one of its reporters, Abdulkaidr Mohamed Abdulle, is among the injured.

Police and hospital sources say the death toll from the truck bomb in Mogadishu has risen to 189 in what is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

— Abdi Guled in Mogadishu.

2:35 p.m.

The death toll from a massive explosion in Somalia's capital has risen to 189 with over 200 others injured, police and hospital sources say, making it the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

Doctors are struggling to assist hundreds of horrifically wounded victims, with many burnt beyond recognition.

Somalia's government has blamed Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu on the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented.

— Abdi Guled in Mogadishu.

1:25 p.m.

The United States is joining the condemnation of Saturday's massive truck bombing in Somalia's capital that left scores dead.

A statement by the U.S. mission to Somalia says that "such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism."

The U.S. military this year has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, which is based in Somalia and often targets Mogadishu.

1:20 p.m.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society are among the dead after a huge truck bombing in Somalia's capital.

A statement Sunday says "this figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing."

Security and medical sources say at least 53 people are dead after what Mogadishu residents call the largest explosion they've ever witnessed.

Officials have pleaded for blood donations. More than 60 people are injured.

Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented.

10:45 a.m.

Security and medical sources say the death toll from Saturday's truck bomb blast in Somalia's capital has risen to 53 as hospitals struggle to cope with the high number of casualties. More than 60 others are injured.

Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein says many victims died at hospitals from their wounds.

Somalia's government has yet to release the exact death toll from an explosion many called the most powerful they had ever witnessed in Mogadishu.

Ambulance sirens still echo across the city as bewildered families wander in the rubble of buildings.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims.

The al-Shabab extremist group often targets high-profile areas in the capital with bombings.

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