Roadside bomb blast kills three Somali soldiers in Kismayo
A powerful roadside bomb explosion has killed at least three Somali soldiers in the south of the African country.
The bomb, homemade, ripped through a military checkpoint in the southern port town of Kismayo on Thursday.
Abdulahi Ahmed Suldan, a local security official, confirmed that a senior military commander was among those killed in the fatal blast. “Three soldiers including a commander were killed, and seven others were wounded in the bomb explosion.”
Local residents said several of the wounded were civilians who were passing by the area when the bomb exploded.
Abdiqadar Hassan, a local resident, told AFP that the explosion sent shock waves across the volatile area.
“The explosion was very heavy, and a big crater was caused by the blast,” Hassan said, adding, “I saw the body parts ripped off by the blast being collected.”
The al-Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility for the deadly bombing.
The attack was the latest in a string of bombings targeting Somali government soldiers and foreign forces in the country.
In early September, at least 50 African Union soldiers were killed in an incident where al-Shabab militants stormed a military camp manned by soldiers from Uganda in the town of Janale, located in the region of Lower Shabelle in southern Somalia.
Years of conflict add up, Somalia reels
Since 2006, Somalia has witnessed deadly clashes between government forces and the al-Shabab militants, who say they aim to overthrow the government in the African state.
The militants have been pushed out of the capital, Mogadishu, and other major cities in the country by government forces and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), which is largely made up of troops from Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Sierra Leone.