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10 killed in Somalia attack on passenger bus 'heading to Mogadishu funeral'

More than 20 people were on board heading to a funeral [Twitter]

Date of publication: 31 May, 2020

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A passenger bus carrying more than 20 people to a funeral exploded on Sunday, killing dozens on board.
At least 10 people died and 12 were wounded when an explosive device ripped through a minibus outside the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday, the government said.

The deadly explosion occurred near Lafole village along the Afgoye-Mogadishu where the passenger bus was travelling early in the day.

"At least 10 civilians were killed in an explosion at Lafole area this morning, those who died were all civilians," the information ministry said in a statement, adding that the victims were on their way to a funeral.

Witnesses said the minibus was completely destroyed, and described an horrific scene with everyone on board either dead or wounded and many bodies ripped apart or burned beyond recognition.

"This was a horrible incident this morning, the explosive device went off as the bus was passing by the area and destroyed it completely," said Daud Doyow, a witness.

"Bodies of civilians were strewn in pieces and most of the people died," he added.

"There were more than 20 people on board and 10 of them were confirmed dead while the rest are seriously wounded and taken to hospital, this is a horrible scene here," said another witness, Abdirisak Adan.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Somalia's al Qaeda-aligned Shabaab group carries out regular attacks in and around the capital, often killing civilians.

Earlier this month, a Somali governor and three bodyguards were killed in a suicide attack claimed by the Al-Shabaab jihadist group in the regional capital of Galkayo, a security official said at the time.

The attacker rammed a scooter taxi into a car carrying Ahmed Muse Nur, the governor of the north-central Mudug province, and his security detail before detonating an explosive device, official Muse Ahmed told AFP.

Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and lost most of its strongholds, but still controls vast swathes of the countryside.

Its militants have vowed to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu and have carried out numerous attacks in the capital.

In December, the militant group killed 81 people in a bombing in Mogadishu that struck a busy checkpoint in the southwest of the city.

Read also: Somalia 'invites Turkey' to explore for oil, Erdogan says

In January, the jihadists killed four people in an attack that apparently targeted Turkish engineers. Weeks earlier, the militant group stormed a military base used by US forces in Kenya's coastal Lamu region, killing three Americans.

Most rescently in March, another governor in Somalia's Puntland was killed in a similar bombing claimed by the al-Shabaab jihadist group.

Abdisalan Hassan Hersi, governor of Nugaal region, succumbed to his injuries after being rushed to a hospital in Garowe, the capital of Puntland where the blast occurred.

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