Somali police on Wednesday opened fire to prevent a crowd of protesters demonstrating against Saturday’s deadly bombing from accessing the site of the attack, according to a Reuters witness.

The witness heard gunfire shortly after police blocked the demonstrators, who were marching towards the scene of the twin blasts, where more than 300 people were killed.

Officials said 300 people died in the twin bomb blasts in Mogadishu.

The Government has already buried more than 150 unrecognisable bodies and locals continue to pack hospitals searching for friends and relatives caught up in Somalia’s deadliest attack in a decade.

The death toll has steadily risen since Saturday, when the blasts — for which no organisation have claimed responsibility — struck at two busy junctions in the heart of the city.

“We have confirmed 300 people died in the blast. The death toll will still be higher because some people are still missing,” said Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of the city’s ambulance service.

Saturday’s bomb attacks were the deadliest since Islamist militant group Al Shabaab began an insurgency in 2007.

Neither it nor any other group had claimed responsibility, but Al Shabaab, which is allied to Al Qaeda, stages regular attacks in the capital and other parts of the country.

The group is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s UN-backed Government and its African Union allies in a bid to impose its own strict interpretation of Islam.

The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and have been steadily losing territory since then to the combined forces of African Union peacekeepers and Somali security forces.

Al-Shabaab retains the capacity to mount large, complex bomb attacks.

Over the past three years, the number of civilians killed by insurgent bombings has steadily climbed as Al Shabaab increases the size of its bombs.


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