MOGADISHU, Somalia — A truck bomb exploded at a busy security checkpoint in Somalia's capital Saturday morning, killing at least 61 people, authorities said. It was one of the deadliest attacks in Mogadishu in recent memory.
The toll was likely to rise as scores of people were rushed to hospitals, government spokesman Ismail Mukhtar told The Associated Press. Abdiqadir Abdirahman, the director of the Aamin Ambulance service, confirmed the 61 dead and said more than 50 others were wounded.
Mayor Omar Mohamud Mohamed, speaking at the scene, said university students were among those killed. Police said the dead also included two Turkish nationals.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the blast targeted a tax collection center during the morning rush hour as Somalia returned to work after its weekend. Images from the scene showed the mangled frames of vehicles and bodies lying on the ground.
A large black plume of smoke rose above the capital.