Somaliland witness – Part-time student Isahaq Hashi, 22, tells the BBC News website what he witnessed in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa after three car bombs went off in a wave of coordinated attacks.

“I was sitting at my desk in my office when I heard a high sound. I didn’t know what it was but all I knew is that my office was shaking.

I had never heard such a thing. I just thought it was something in our work building.


Time didn’t seem to pass.

Then there was another one but this time it was louder and closer. The first one was quite far away and we didn’t know what was going on but when the next one went off, my four colleagues and I left our office. We knew something was not normal.

Deadly Car Bombs Hit Somaliland
Most of the casualties were in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa

We saw smoke. A lot of smoke and all blowing from the president’s palace.

One of my colleagues, who is much older than the rest of us, said it smelt like a bomb and he was saying that he thought it had been a bomb because he said he knew the sound. He was alive in the days before, when Somaliland was troubled.

Then many, many people were running towards us and past our office.

I didn’t follow but I stopped some of them to ask what was happening. Some of them told me they had seen everything and had been standing close to the area and it was too bad. They said they had seen the bombs go off after people attacked the presidential palace using cars as bombs.

I ran to the Hargeisa General Hospital.

There was a mother at the hospital saying: ‘My little baby’ over and over again.

She had been at home but said a friend had seen her son near the place where the bombings happened. She was told that her son had been one of the victims. She no longer had shoes because she had run so fast to get to the hospital she lost them on the way.

She was crying and crying.

I don’t know if she found her son.

The people at the hospital were very sad at what happened and many were crying too.

The ambulance was going back and back and back and back – getting the dead people and the injured.

I am feeling so sad for the people of Hargeisa.

It is a terrible day.”

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