6 April 2017
By Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar
MOGADISHU, April 6 (Reuters) – A roadside explosion killed 10 people in southern Somalia on Thursday when the minibus they were travelling in hit a bomb planted by al Shabaab, a military officer and residents said.
The blast in Golweyn village occurred hours after Somalia’s president replaced his security chiefs and called on the Islamist group to surrender within 60 days in return for education and jobs.
“We have confirmed from residents there that at least 10 civilians died and 10 others were wounded,” Colonel Hassan Mohamed, a military officer in a nearby village, told Reuters.
“…Al Shabaab controls Golweyn village and they planted bombs in all those roads.”
Residents said earlier on Thursday that government and African Union peacekeeping troops (AMISOM) had conducted an operation in the area near where the blast occurred.
Osman Ali, a shopkeeper in Bulamarer district where the bus began its journey, said it had set off mid-afternoon.
“This evening we are told it got burnt in Golweyn… We called the phones of the passengers but none gets through. My cousin was also on board,” he told Reuters by phone.
Al Shabaab could not be immediately reached for comment.
The group has been driven out of its strongholds in Somalia by AMISOM and Somali army offensives, although it still controls some rural areas and often launches guerrilla-style assaults and bomb attacks in the capital Mogadishu.
(Reporting by Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh; Writing by George Obulutsa; editing by John Stonestreet)