231 people have died and a further 275 are said to be injured after a truck bomb exploded in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

In what is understood to be the deadliest attack ever witnessed in the African nation, a bomb detonated outside the Safari Hotel at the K5 intersection – an area home to government buildings as well as a number of restaurants and kiosks.

According to reports, a separate blast struck the Medina district just two hours later.

Officials fear the death toll will continue to rise, with many civilians and volunteers still missing.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has declared three days of mourning and is urging people to donate blood for the wounded victims. "I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate," he said.

Somalia's government blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab extremist group for the attack, though it has yet to claim the responsibility.

Feature Image: Twitter