Al Shabab kills at least 30 in two large blasts in Somalia

Al Shabab explodes two bombs in busy junction and nearby restaurant in Somali capital, killing at least 30 people

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Somali security and investigators gather at the scene of an explosion in Somalia's capital Mogadishu.

Updated Feb 29, 2016

Somali Police announced on Sunday that Al Shabab militants bombed a busy junction and a nearby restaurant in the town of Baidoa, killing at least 30 people.

Al Shabab has primarily been fighting to topple the Somalian government in Mogadishu, which is being protected by a 22,000-strong African Union army.

Police Major Bilow Nurr told Reuters, "The restaurant and the junction were very busy and the death toll may rise," which lies about 245 km northwest of Mogadishu."

Police Colonel Abdi Osman said the death toll was 30, with 40 others injured.

A suicide car bomb blew up at the junction while a second blast - possibly a bomb that had been planted or a suicide bomber - struck the restaurant, a police officer said.   

"We targeted government officials and forces," Al Shabaab's group spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters, adding that there was a police station near the scene.

Ismail Olad told Reuters the two locations were full of civilians and security forces.

"I heard a huge crash at the busy junction and as I ran, I heard another blast at a restaurant ahead of me. The whole place was covered by smoke," he said.

In the decade-long armed campaign by the Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group, attacks have been carried out both in Somalia in a number of neighbouring countries, including Uganda and Kenya.

TRTWorld, Reuters