At least 276 civilians have been killed in a bomb attack in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Saturday, making it the deadliest incident in the country’s modern history.
On Monday morning, Somalia’s information minister announced that 276 people had died in the attack with at least 300 people injured.
However, within hours, Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Amin ambulances, said his service had confirmed that 300 people died in the blast.
Mr Abdirahman told Reuters: “The death toll will still be higher because some people are still missing.”
No group has yet claimed responsibility; however, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed blamed the attack on the militant Al-Shabaab group, describing it a “heinous act”.
“Brothers, this cruel act was targeted at civilians who were going about their business,” the president said.
The Office of the President on Sunday announced the nation is in three days of mourning, with the national flag lowered at half-staff to honour the deceased.
Footage from the scene showed damaged buildings and a burning truck at the first blast site.
A large white building had collapsed into a pile of rubble and other structures appeared blackened and destroyed.
Minutes after the first blast, a second vehicle bomb went off in the nearby Madina district.
Security forces had been tipped off about the vehicle carrying explosives and were pursuing it in the busy K5 district of the city when the explosion happened, said Colonel Ahmed Hassan of Mogadishu police.
The K5 district plays host to numerous government buildings, restaurants and hotels.
The UK ambassador to Somalia, David Concar, tweeted that the blast was audible from inside the British Embassy.
He also posted a video clip showing thick, dark smoke on the skyline.