Somalia roadside bomb kills at least 19 in minibus: Official

AP , Thursday 6 Apr 2017

A roadside bomb exploded and killed at least 19 people in a minibus in Somalia's Lower Shabelle region Thursday evening, a security official said.

Six others were injured, regional security official Nur Abdullahi told The Associated Press.

The massive bomb buried beside the road struck the vehicle near Golweyn village and largely destroyed it, Abdullahi said.

"It's a horrible incident. Bodies are lying in a pool of blood, and some of them were burnt beyond recognition," he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab claims control over parts of the largely coastal Lower Shabelle region, which has been a focus of efforts to counter the group by a 22,000-strong multinational African Union force.

The area in which the bomb exploded is a contested area. Roadside bombs are one of the tactics commonly used by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab.

Civilians often have been casualties in this long-chaotic Horn of Africa country. Now hundreds of thousands of Somalis are on the move as a drought threatens roughly half of the country's population of 12 million.

New Somali-American President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who was elected in February, has promised to make security a priority as the weak central government tries to assert itself beyond the capital and some other urban areas.

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