10 dead in roadside bomb explosion in southern Somalia

16:37, April 27, 2011      

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At least 10 people were killed and six others wounded Tuesday afternoon in southern Somalia after a roadside bomb blast hit a vehicle they were travelling in, officials and witnesses said Wednesday.

The southern Somalia regions are heavily contested by government forces and Islamist rebels who have recently lost ground to allied government forces and local militia group.

The bomb believed by government officials to have been planted by Islamist fighters of the radical Islamist group of Al Shabaab ripped through a minibus that carried civilian passengers to the government controlled Luk district in southwestern Gedo region.

"The bomb which was planted by anti-peace group of Al Shabaab killed ten people and wounded six more who are now being treated in Luk Hospital," Abdulahi Ibrahim Ahmed, district commissioner, told Xinhua by phone.

Witnesses in Luk say that women and children were among the dead and injured who were civilians fleeing the violence in their country.

The government official said "remnants" of Islamist radicals who were driven out of the area operate along some of the access roads linking the districts in southern Somalia which are partly controlled by government forces and Islamist rebels.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting between government forces and Islamist fighters broke out on the outskirts of the Islamist controlled Garbaharey town, provincial capital of Gedo region.

Government officials in the area say the Islamist group of Al Shabaab has started retreating from the battle areas around the town and that they expect to gain control of the whole of Gedo region in the next few days, a claim vehemently rejected by Al Shabaab.

Islamist radicals who controlled much of southern and central Somalia have lately lost ground to government forces who retook several towns from the Al Qaeda linked group in southern Somalia, especially towns and villages close to the Kenyan and Ethiopian borders.

Source: Xinhua
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