MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – At least four soldiers were killed and five others wounded after two explosions ripped through a security checkpoint in the town of Bal’ad in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region on Sunday, local officials have confirmed.
Reports from the town say the first explosion hit the security checkpoint on Sunday afternoon targeting security forces and another blast, thought to be caused by a roadside bomb, took place at the site of the previous attack targeting police officers who reached the scene to facilitate rescue efforts.
The explosion has come a day after Al-Shabaab suicide bombing on a road construction site in Lafole, some 22km southwest of the capital Mogadishu, killed 5 people including 2 Turkish engineers and wounded more than 14 others, among them 3 Turkish nationals. Among the dead were also 3 members of Turkish-trained Somali special police unit.
At least four Somali government soldiers were killed in Sunday’s explosions in Bal’ad, district officials have told Somaliguardian on Sunday, and more than 5 others including a senior military officer wounded.
Among the wounded was the commander of Somali military in the town, whose name has been identified as Hadafow.
There have been unconfirmed reports that 2 civilians were among the wounded.
Local officials believe that the explosions were caused by IED devices planted inside the security checkpoint, though it was unclear how militants had gained access to the heavily guarded area.
Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab has said it was behind the attacks, a day after it carried out another bombing outside the capital Mogadishu.
Bal’ad, a town which is located about 40km (24 miles) north of Somali capital Mogadishu frequently comes under attacks from militants targeting security forces, local officials and AMISOM troops in the town.
Militants had previously taken control of the town multiple times during dawn attacks and the last time the district witnessed such a change in control was only a few months ago.
Hirshabelle and federal government administrations have been unable to deal with growing militant attacks in the town since allied Somali and African Union troops had driven Al-Shabaab from the town in June 2012.
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