In a bombing near a school in Somalia’s capital, eight people were killed.

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In a bombing near a school in Somalia’s capital, eight people were killed.

A vehicle explosion near a school in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, killed eight people on Thursday, authorities said, the latest strike claimed by Al-Shabaab extremists in the turbulent country.

As injured pupils were brought to hospitals around the city, distraught parents hurried to the scene of the blast, which destroyed the school building.

The blast occurred around 7:30 a.m., just as students were settling in for their first sessions, according to principal Yusuf Hussein Abdi.

Wooden beams and tin sheets came tumbling down on the young students in seconds, and some of the walls caved in.

“You can imagine how many pupils, primarily children, felt when their school rooms were attacked,” Abdi said.

People rescued injured victims from the rubble, carrying them to safety with their bare hands until ambulances arrived.

Abdifatah Adan, a Somalia police spokesman, stated in a brief statement that eight civilians were killed and 17 others were injured, but did not provide any specifics.

The explosion was caused by a car bomb, according to security officer Mohamed Abdillahi, who added, “We don’t know the goal of the strike.”

According to witnesses, the device went off as a big convoy of troops from AMISOM, the African Union force fighting the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group, was traveling through the region.

“I was near the area when the blast happened, and an AMISOM convoy was passing by,” Said Ibrahim told AFP.

The explosion was claimed by Al-Shabaab, who said it was directed at “military trainers.”

The militants often assault civilian, military, and government targets in the capital and around the country.

“Everyone was stunned, and the scene was very horrific,” said Naima Ali, whose daughter was one of the fortunate ones to escape the mayhem unscathed.

Ali told AFP, “I saw some of the students bleeding.”

The detonation left a trail of devastation in its wake, according to Mohamud Omar, whose cousin was in the school at the time of the attack. Backpacks were scattered under the debris.

“The blow leveled the entire region and left the road in ruins,” he told AFP. “Thank God, most of the pupils were safe despite the massive devastation caused by the explosion.”

Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adan, the founder of Mogadishu’s Aamin ambulance service, posted photographs of the rubble-strewn scene on Twitter, calling the attack “a catastrophe.”

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) of East Africa condemned what it called a “heinous and disgusting terrorist attack.”

Workneh Gebeyehu, the IGAD executive secretary, said in a statement that he “shares the anguish.” The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

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