Blast kills 5 people in Mogadishu market

Gen Abdihakim Saacid, Somalia Police Commissioner

Gen Abdihakim Saacid, Somalia Police Commissioner

An explosion killed at least five people and wounded 10 on

Wednesday in a market for the stimulant leaf khat in southern
Somalia, police and residents said.
The blast, whose cause was not immediately clear, occurred in the
busy market in the town of Wanlaweyn in the Lower Shabelle region,
about 90 km (55 miles) to the northwest of the coastal capital
Mogadishu.
Given Wanlaweyn’s lack of hospitals ability to take in multiple
casualties, residents said they took many of the wounded to their
homes for the time being after the afternoon blast near a busy
cluster of khat kiosks.
Police said they were investigating whether the explosion was
caused by a planted bomb or by a suicide bomber.
“The blast at the khat kiosks killed at least five civilians and
injured more others including soldiers. We are investigating
whether there are more casualties and the cause of the blast,”
police Captain Farah Ismail told Reuters.
“The death toll may rise,” he added.
Residents said the kiosks were busy with soldiers buying khat.
“I counted five dead people, including two shoe shiners, a mother
who sold khat and two customers. There were 10 other injured
civilians,” shopkeeper Ahmed Mohamud told Reuters.
“I could also see several soldiers in uniform being transported
from the blast scene but I could not confirm whether they were dead
or wounded.”
It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast.
In past incidents, the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militant group has
claimed responsibility.
Al-Shabab is fighting to overthrow Somalia’s central government and
establish its own rule based on its interpretation of Islamic law.
Since being pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011, the group has lost
control of most of Somalia’s cities and towns. But it retains a

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