At least 28 people have been killed and 60 others injured in twin bombings in south central Somalia on Sunday according to hospital sources in the town.
The incidents occurred on Sunday when Al-Shabaab bombed a busy junction and a nearby restaurant in the town of Baidoa, located about 245 kilometers northwest of Mogadishu.
A vehicle loaded with explosives was used in the first attack, while the second bombing was carried out by a man wearing belts laden with explosives and targeted two popular restaurants frequented by local politicians.
The blasts rocked the center of the city of Baidoa, targeting a busy spot near a restaurant according to Goobjoog News correspondent in the town.
Rubble of the bombed Restaurant
An Ambulance of red crescent ferrying wounded people
Abdifitah Hashi, director of the main Baidoa Hospital told Goobjoog News that two of 40 people admitted to the hospital died of serious wounds sustained in the blasts.
Biadoa hospital receiving injuries
“I have counted 25 dead people at scene and hospital 40 people sustained injuries though two of them succumbed to their injuries,” he said.
Another doctor said 3 of 5 of the bodies their hospital received were charred beyond recognition.
Residents searching their relatives
Al-Shabaab militants have claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a statement broadcast by Radio Andulus, a broadcaster allied to the group.
“I am saddened by the loss of innocent lives through acts of terror committed by ruthless individuals who have no value for life,” Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Francisco Caetano Madeira said in an e-mailed statement.
Security forces at the scene
The targeted city is located about 245 kilometers (152 miles) northwest of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
Al-Shabaab often carries out such suicide attacks in the capital and elsewhere in its bid to topple Somalia’s Western- backed government. The group wants to impose its strict version of Islamic rule in the Horn of Africa nation.
On Friday, al-Shabaab reportedly carried out a car bomb explosion followed by gunfire in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, killing an unknown number of people.