The death toll from two car bombs outside the education ministry building in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has risen to at least 120, the health minister said on Monday.

Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab Islamist group claimed responsibility for Saturday’s blasts, the deadliest in Somalia since a truck bomb killed more than 100,000 people in the same area five years ago. 500 people.

The first of the explosions hit the Ministry of Education at around 2 pm on Saturday. The second hit happened minutes later, when an ambulance arrived and people gathered to help the victims.

Health Minister Ali Haji Aden said the death toll stood at 120, while another 150 people were being treated in hospital.

Al-Shabaab, which seeks to overthrow the government and establish its own rule based on an extreme interpretation of Islamic law, often carries out attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

The Islamist group has been under pressure since August, when President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud launched an offensive against them backed by the United States and allied local militias and sought to destroy their financial network.

Analysts say the offensive is the most serious threat al-Shabaab has faced in years.

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