At least five people were killed and 11 others wounded, including a regional governor, in a suicide attack in southern Somalia on Tuesday, police said.
An explosives-laden vehicle rammed a guest house hosting government officials in Bardera, 450 kilometers (279 miles) west of the capital Mogadishu. Hussain AdenPolice Commander for the area.
“The blast destroyed most of the building and killed five security personnel,” Adan said. AFP,
eleven people including the governor Ahmed Bulleh GarredInjured, he said.
Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab has been waging a bloody jihadist insurgency against the central government in the fragile Horn of Africa country for nearly 15 years.
The group claimed responsibility for the attack through its Shahada News AgencyAccording to the American monitoring group SITE.
Mahmood SainiOne who witnessed Tuesday’s attack said he had “never heard an explosion as big.”
“It shook the earth like an earthquake.”
In recent months, the Somali army and local clan militias have took back part of the territory from the militants supported by US airstrikes and an African Union force in an operation known as ATMIS.
Despite gains by pro-government forces, the militants have continued to demonstrate the ability to strike with lethal force against civilian and military targets.
Deadliest al-Shabaab attack since last year’s offensive 121 people died in October From two car bombings at the Ministry of Education in Mogadishu in October.
The United Nations said last month that 2022 was set to be the deadliest year for civilians in Somalia since 2017, mainly due to an increase in mass-casualty attacks by the jihadist group.
Although forced out of Mogadishu and other main urban centers a decade ago, al-Shabaab remains in parts of rural central and southern Somalia.