In this grab taken from video, smoke billows after an...

In this grab taken from video, smoke billows after an explosion in Beledweyne, Somalia, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. An explosives-laden vehicle has detonated at a security checkpoint in the central Somalia city of Beledweyne. Authorities say at least 15 people were killed and 40 others were wounded in Saturday's attack. A state health official confirmed the deaths and says half of the wounded are in critical condition and need to be airlifted to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, for advanced medical treatment. Credit: AP

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The death toll from a bombing attack at a government checkpoint in central Somalia has reached 21, authorities said Sunday.

The number of wounded in Saturday's truck bombing in Beledweyne stood at 52, said Abdifatah Mohamed Yusuf, director general of the Hirshabelle ministry of humanitarian and disaster management.

He told The Associated Press that 17 of those critically wounded were airlifted to the capital, Mogadishu, for treatment.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility. East Africa’s al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab often carries out such attacks in Somalia.

Beledweyne has been the staging point for the Somali government’s ongoing military offensive against the extremists, who control parts of central and southern Somalia.

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