At least six people were killed and 12 others were injured when a roadside explosion hit a minibus in southern Somalia on Wednesday morning, the local governor says.
Mohamed Ibrahim Barre, the governor of the Lower Shabelle region, told VOA Somali that the minibus was travelling between Marka and Qoryoley towns. All the victims were civilians, including women and children, Barre said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but Barre blamed the al-Shabab militant group.
Al-Shabab frequently carries out attacks against Somali government and African Union forces in the region. Roadside explosions are some of al-Shabab’s deadliest weapons in the country.
Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia Kiki Gbeho told the U.N. Security Council earlier this year that al-Shabaab continues to pose a serious threat to peace and security in Somalia.
“The year 2022 was the deadliest for civilians since 2017, with 60 percent increase in civilian casualties as compared to 2021,” she said in her statement during a briefing about Somalia.
Between January 2020 to 31 December 2021, the U.N. recorded 109 improvised explosive device attacks by al-Shabab that resulted in 865 civilian casualties (309 killed and 556 injured) according to the report.
The IED attacks include using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED), suicide attacks using both vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIED) and person-borne improvised explosive devices (PBIED), and victim-operated improvised explosive devices (VOIED), the report said.