[QODLink]
Africa
Deadly blast rocks south Somalia city
Al-Shabab claims responsibility for bomb attack in southern city of Baidoa that killed at least 12 people.
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2012 18:15
 

At least 12 people have died in a bomb attack in Somalia targeting Somali and Ethiopian troops in a busy market in the southern city of Baidoa, witnesses and officials have said.

The attack on Monday was the deadliest since Ethiopian and Somali troops captured Baidoa, about 250 km to the southwest of Mogadishu, from al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab fighters in February.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for Monday's attack.

"We planted a remotely controlled bomb in Baidoa market. We targeted the Ethiopian and the Somali troops. About three of them died," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, spokesman for al-Shabab's military operations, told Reuters.

Musab said government soldiers had killed a number of civilians after opening fire following the blast but the regional governor has denied the accusation.

It was the second blast in the country in a week.

Deadly attacks

Witnesses said the explosion happened outside a butcher shop.

"As we shopped we suddenly heard a blast. I counted 10 dead civilians and over 30 others injured," Shukri Hussein, a mother of five, told reporters from Baidoa market.

"Most of the casualties were in front of the butchery inside the main market. All the casualties were civilians save a soldier who was slightly injured," she said, adding that the explosive was hidden in a female shopper's plastic bag.

She said the soldiers surrounded the market after the blast, shooting in the air.

Ali Aden, a nurse at Baidoa hospital, said the faicility received 35 wounded civilians.

Abdifatah Ibrahim Mohamed, the Bay region governor, told Reuters from Baidoa, said at least 12 civilians were killed and more than 30 wounded.

Ethiopia sent troops into Somalia last year to open another front against al-Shabab after Kenya deployed soldiers in the south.

On Thursday, the African Union's AMISOM force deployed 100 soldiers to the country's third biggest city and a former rebel stronghold in the south that served as a key recruitment and training centre until it fell to Ethiopian forces.

Last week, a female suicide bomber killed six people, including two top sports officials, in the theatre near the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list