At least three people including a local government official were killed on Saturday in a roadside blast along the road linking Bal’ad and Jowhar towns in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region.
The spokesman of HirShabelle state Da’ud Haji Irro told journalists an improvised explosive device (IED) suspected to have been planted on the Gololey village exploded when a convoy carrying officials from the local authorities was passing by.
“We can confirm the death of the deputy governor of finance of Middle Shabelle region Abdullahi Shatawe, former HirShabelle state trade minister Sabriye Osman and a local humanitarian activist Hassan Baldos,” Irro said.
Irro said security forces who were accompanying the officials shot dead a man said to have been guarding the remote-controlled landmine.
Residents reported hearing heavy blasts near the scene of the deadly attack. “The blast happened in a road near my house. We later learned some officials in the local government died,” Garad Hersi, an eye witness told Xinhua by phone.
Meanwhile, HirShabelle state president Mohamed Abdi Ware condoled with the families of those who perished in the attack. “I convey my condolence to the relatives of those who died in this heinous attack,” Ware said.
The al-Qaida affiliated group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack which adds to several others targeting government officials and military convoys using the road.