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Somalia: 5 killed in deadly blast at football stadium

Published: April 13, 2018
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Five people were killed after a bomb exploded during an afternoon local football match in the south-western Somali town of Barawe yesterday, Garowe Online reported.

The improvised explosive device exploded at the second half of a semi-final game, killing five civilians and injuring more than ten people who were seated in the special guests section of the stadium.

“The bomb killed five people and injured a dozen others in the football field. All the casualties were from the onlookers,” Mahad Dhoore, a lawmaker for South West State said.

“We believe Al-Shabaab was behind [the bombing] and that the target was officials who were not seated there at the time of the match. The bomb looked like a remotely controlled one that was planted there,” police officer Mohamed Aden said.

Al-Shabaab has fought Somalia’s federal government for more than ten years in an effort to implement a strict interpretation of Islamic law across the country.

Somalia has seen some ferocious attacks on civilians in the past; including drive-by shootings at security checkpoints. Last year, a truck bomb attack killed and injured 500. The assailant, though, was not from Al-Shabaab according to an investigation by the Guardian, but was a former Somali soldier grieved by a US and Somali counter-terror raid on his home village.

Al-Shabaab pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda in 2012, which led to an increase in counter-terror measures levied by the US. Somalia’s security forces executed an operation last month in northern Mogadishu arresting over 100 criminal suspects. The operation was conducted after a Somali soldier was killed at a security checkpoint.

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