The minibus en route from capital Mogadishu to Jowhar in Middle Shabelle region was blown up near Balad district, killing at least 15 people and injuring four others, officials say.

In this file image, a view of the explosion site after a bomb-laden vehicle exploded in front of a restaurant near Mogadishu seaport, Somalia on March 6, 2021.
In this file image, a view of the explosion site after a bomb-laden vehicle exploded in front of a restaurant near Mogadishu seaport, Somalia on March 6, 2021. (AA)

At least 15 people have died and four others have been wounded when the minibus they were travelling in ran over a landmine on the outskirts of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, authorities said.

"A heinous incident ... 15 innocent people were killed. This act is an indication (of) how ruthless terrorists are," government spokesperson Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu wrote on Twitter, blaming the attack on Al Shabab.

He said the attack took place about 50 km (31 miles) north of Mogadishu.

Earlier Andikarim Mohamed, a government official from the central Shabelle region, said 14 had died and four were wounded "after a minibus travelling along the road between Mogadishu and Balad ran over a landmine."

Somali military commander Abshir Mohamed, who works in the area, also blamed the incident on the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab who carry out regular attacks in the country.

"The terrorists are indiscriminately targeting everybody. They planted the mine that had killed those innocent civilians who were going about their business," he told state media.

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Witness Mohamud Adan told AFP he saw the "dead bodies of 10 people" taken from the scene of the explosion.

Ibrahim Ali Nour, a radio journalist in the town of Jowhar, told Anadolu Agency by phone that he saw several survivors of the explosion.

Although the Horn of Africa government said Al Shabab is behind the attack incident, no group has yet claimed responsibility.

Al Shabab controlled the capital until 2011 when it was pushed out by African Union troops, but still holds parts of the countryside and carries out regular attacks against government, military and civilian targets.

The terror group has been behind countless attacks in Somalia, including a 2017 car bomb attack in Mogadishu that killed some 300 people.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies