At least eight people have been killed after a bomb exploded at a busy livestock market in a village in southwestern Somalia’s Bay region, an official has said.
At least 40 others were wounded, Gof-Gadud village official Hassan Bayow told the local radio on Wednesday, according to the dpa news agency.
“All the victims were civilians who were there to sell or buy livestock at the time,” he told Radio Kulmiye.
Bayow said fighters belonging to armed group al-Shabab were likely behind the attack because those at the market had refused to pay the group.
Al-Shabab regularly asks villagers for money handouts in the areas where it is present. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Somalia has been plagued by violence since a civil war began in 1991 but the country has stabilised somewhat in recent years.
Al-Shabab has been fighting to dislodge Somalia’s Western-backed government, which is protected by African Union-mandated peacekeepers.
The armed group controls large parts of rural, southern and central Somalia and continues to carry out high-profile attacks in capital Mogadishu and elsewhere.
Since 2017, the United States has dramatically increased air attacks against al-Shabab.
While 50 such raids were carried out last year by the US military command in Africa, the number this year stands at 23. SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES