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Somalia: Bomb Blast Kills at least 5, Injures Dozens during Football Match South of Country

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Local Editor

A bomb blast killed up to five spectators at a football match in southern Somalia, police and a lawmaker said on Friday, the first time an explosion has targeted a stadium.


The blast went off in the port town of Barawe, in the Lower Shabelle region, when residents were watching a football match on Thursday afternoon, police said, adding that Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab could be behind the attack.

Police further analyzed that it appeared to have been remotely-detonated.

"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 told Reuters.

Police officer Mohamed Aden said Al-Shabab group was suspected of being behind the attack and put the number of dead at four and wounded at 12.

"We believe Al-Shabab was behind [it] 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," Aden told Reuters from Barawe.

Al-Shabab are fighting to topple Somalia's Western-backed central government and establish their own rule based on their wrong interpretation of Islamic law.

The group frequently carries out bombings and gun attacks in the capital Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia.

"Al-Shabab carried out an explosion that killed teenagers who were just playing football in Barawe town. Al-Shabab is the only enemy we have," President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said during a farewell party for Somalia's outgoing parliament speaker.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team