IED blast kills civilians in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia – An improvised explosive device [IED] left at least seven civilians dead on Monday, Somali authorities said in the latest wave of violence against innocent people in the Horn of Africa, who have never had a stable government in the last three decades.

Somalia police said an IED exploded in the Bakool region, killing the seven innocent civilians in one of the latest deadly attacks on those to be protected from violence. The blast took place in the afternoon, according to officials.

Hudur officers said the victims were traveling on the Tuk-Tuk when the incident took place and they are believed to have attended a religious function on the outskirts of the city. The Tuk-Tuk was completely split, officers said in a statement.

At least three people were seriously injured after the explosion and have since been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Police officers seized the place and have since secured the place with reports that the special forces unit is pursuing the culprits.

No group has since claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, but al-Shabaab militants who have caused chaos in the country are known to carry out attacks of this kind. Experts usually claim that such attacks are targeted at security forces who drive with them when they strengthen security in the city.

The Somali National Army [SNA] recently conquered Huddur city after many years under the control of Al-Shabaab. The city is one of the newest strategic areas released and it is believed that the militants carried out retaliatory attacks against security forces.

Southwest is one of the most affected states during the occupation of Al-Shabaab militants, but security forces are eager to liberate all territories. Bay and Bakool regions are considered strongholds of the militants who swore allegiance to the Al-Qaeda group in 2012.

Elsewhere, two government soldiers were convicted by a military court in the Gedo region for trespassing that occurred in Balad-Hawo city on September 7, 2020, leaving one police officer dead and another critically injured, officials said.

The Gedo region has witnessed intrigue between allied security forces over the past few months. For example, the Somali National Army and Jubaland forces have been fighting for the past seven months, but the situation was contained after the efforts of Jubaland President Ahmed Madobe and President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

Al-Shabaab continues to control large parts of southern and central Somalia in the countryside, but the government’s response through the SNA, AMISOM and the US African Command appears to be bearing fruit. The forces have managed to kill several Al-Shabaab militants in addition to liberating key cities.