Death toll climbs to more than 300 in Mogadishu blasts – here's how you can help

More than 300 people were killed in the blasts. Here's how you can help.
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The number of people killed by the bombings in Mogadishu continues to climb as more bodies are discovered in the rubble, and people who were injured succumb to their wounds.

According to a Monday morning update from CNN, at least 300 people have been confirmed dead after two massive truck bombs went off in one of the busiest areas in the capital of Somalia on Saturday. 

Officials told a VOA journalist that the death toll is at 302, with 429 others wounded.

A father of three from Bloomington, Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow, was among the hundreds killed in the blasts. 

Two days later, victims are still being pulled from the debris of fallen buildings. BBC says there are as many as 165 unidentified bodies.

A freelance journalist and five Red Crescent volunteers were killed in the explosions, ABC News says, as well as 15 children who were on a school bus when one of the bombs went off.

People on social media have been sharing photos and bios of people who were killed in the bombings. One of the victims has been identified was a human rights activist; another was a medical student, set to graduate the next day. Many others remain missing.

The attacks have been described as the deadliest assault the country has ever witnessed.

“This is the Somali 9/11," one official told The Guardian

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet, but officials – including Somalia's president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed – have said they suspect al-Shabab, an affiliate of the extremist group al-Qaida. 

Al-Shabab has been waging a war with the Somali government for more than 10 years, CNN says.

Standing in solidarity

Hundreds of Somalis marched the streets of Mogadishu on Sunday to condemn the attacks, and President Mohamed declared three days of national mourning. The nations of Turkey and Djibouti stepped up to aid in rescue efforts.

The U.S. Mission to Somali condemned the attacks. And in Paris, the lights on the Eiffel Tower were turned off to pay tribute to the victims.

The response in Minnesota

In Minnesota – which has the largest Somali population of any state in the U.S. – Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she was "horrified" by the attacks.

"My thoughts go out to the victims and their families as well as my friends in our Somali community in Minnesota," she said in a statement.

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American to be elected to a state legislature in the U.S., also put out a statement.

"Deadly terrorist attacks have become common to the point of making us numb to their destructive force, but we should not be numbed because of the race, religion, or geography of an attack of this magnitude," Omar wrote. "We mourn with the families of Mogadishu as we mourned with the families in Paris, Beirut, Brussels, New York, and Baghdad, and many others."

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) planned a vigil "for peace and prayer for the people of Mogadishu and the families of Minnesotans impacted by the killing of their loved ones." 

It will be held at the Brian Coyle Center in Minneapolis on Monday, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. All people of every faith community are encouraged to attend to join in solidarity for peace.

CAIR also questioned President Trump’s silence on the attack.

"If this attack had targeted people of other faiths or races, we believe there would have been an immediate response from the president in a statement or on Twitter," the group said in a statement.

How to help

While Mogadishu is in dire need of blood donations, there doesn't seem to be much information on how Americans can help with that right now. We'll update this post if we find more info.

One thing you can do is donate to organizations providing relief.

Aamin Ambulance is a volunteer emergency services unit in Mogadishu, providing free medical care to impacted citizens. Donate to the GoFundMe here.

Dr. Sadiyo Said has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the victims. Donate here.

The International Committee of the Red Cross works with the Somali Red Crescent Society to help the victims of conflict and national disaster. Donate here.

Donate to the American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa (ARAHA), based in Columbia Heights, Minnesota.

Donate to the Humanitarian African Relief Organization (HARO), based in Minneapolis.

HARO has also set up a GoFundMe specifically for Mogadishu disaster response.

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