An impactful blast strikes a local bus in southern Somalia.

An Impactful Blast Strikes A Local Bus In Southern Somalia.

A devastating explosion struck a civilian bus in southern Somalia, resulting in the loss of at least six lives, as confirmed by the local authorities on Wednesday. The incident also left numerous individuals severely injured, according to Governor Mohamed Ibrahim Barre of Lower Shabelle, who promptly addressed the press.

The minibus, carrying around 20 civilians comprising women and children, was tragically impacted by a landmine while traveling between Marka and Qoryoley. Although no one has claimed responsibility thus far, Governor Barre pointed fingers at Al-Shabaab, accusing them of orchestrating the attack.

Al-Shabaab militants frequently employ Improvised Explosive Devices [IEDs] to target government officials, security forces, and innocent civilians. Their preference for this method over direct combat is well-documented.

During a briefing on Somalia, Kiki Gbeho, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, informed the U.N. Security Council that al-Shabaab continues to pose a significant threat to peace and security in the country. She revealed that 2022 had witnessed the highest number of civilian casualties since 2017, with a staggering 60 percent increase compared to 2021.

Between 2020 and 2021, the United Nations documented a total of 109 IED attacks in Somalia. These attacks claimed the lives of 309 individuals and left at least 556 others injured. These figures may underestimate the actual toll as some incidents go unreported.

The reported IED attacks encompass a range of tactics, including the use of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices [VBIE], suicide attacks involving both vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices [SVBIED] and person-borne improvised explosive devices [PBIED], as well as victim-operated improvised explosive devices [VOIED].

To combat the menace of Al-Shabaab, Somalia has embarked on a crackdown, with plans for a second phase targeting Jubaland and Southwest states. The first phase, which concentrated on HirShabelle and Galmadug states, was deemed successful.

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