In Somalia explosion kills twenty civilians

Thursday, 30 June, 2016 - 15:15

At least 20 civilians have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries in a roadside bomb attack in Somalia.

The bomb went off in Lafole, located around 20 kilometers (14.5 miles) west of the capital, Mogadishu, on Thursday when a minibus full of civilian passengers was passing by.

According to Nur Ahmed, a local who was driving along the same road at the time of the incident, the packed minibus was being escorted by a military vehicle carrying government troops, which escaped the blast undamaged.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but it reportedly bears the hallmark of Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab, which has carried out a string of deadly attacks on civilians and security forces in Somalia and neighboring Kenya in the past months.

The explosion comes less than a week after al-Shabab militants attacked a major hotel in the capital, killing 15 people.

In March, the terror group also attacked an army base near Mogadishu, claiming to have killed at least 73 soldiers.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

The Takfiri terrorists have been pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities by government forces and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), which is largely made up of troops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

Al-Shabab members, however, continue to carry out attacks in Mogadishu despite being driven out from their bases in 2011.