MOGADISHU – At least seven people were killed and others injured on Saturday in a roadside explosion in the southwest of Somalia, a witness said, amid reports that government forces are on the offensive against Al-Shabaab.
The blast went off in Barire area, about 40 miles west of the capital city of Mogadishu, leaving 7 people on a donkey cart dead, a witness Shine Mohamed said.
Mohamed told The Messenger Africa that the victims had been fleeing from the area into another village to escape from a fresh military offensive against Al Shabaab.
“It was an IED explosion that killed seven civilians, who were among dozens of people leaving from Bariire area. We started this fleeing when Somali soldiers backed by AMISOM clashed with militants,” he said.
Hussein Jim’ale Mohamud, a Somali military officer, said that allied forces took control of Bariire village from the armed group of Al Shabaab, following hours of fighting with the militants.
“Earlier today, we have recaptured Bariire village from the extremist group of Al Shabaab. Our military forces, along with African Union troops stationed parts of the area,” Mohamed told The Messenger Africa.
There was no immediate response from Al Shabaab over the military claims.
Deadly blast kills 2 soldiers near Bosaso town
A landmine explosion targeted an army convoy carrying Puntland forces in Galgala hills, which is located south of Bosaso town in Bari region, killing at least 2 soldiers.
Somali-based group Al Shabaab claimed to have killed at least 12 soldiers on board in the roadside explosion near Galgala mountain.
Freelance journalist Hassan Heykal told The Messenger Africa that several injured soldiers were brought into a hospital in Bosaso town. Military officials from Puntland State did not comment on the claims by Al Shabaab.
Reporting by Abdirizak Mohamud Tuuryare from Mogadishu, Somalia.