A regional governor in Somalia has escaped a suicide bombing that killed at least three people, including two of his bodyguards, according to officials.
Five more people were wounded on Saturday when a suicide bomber detonated himself outside a hotel in Baidoa, the capital of Somalia’s Bay region and administrative capital of the South West State.
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“Ali Wardhere Dooyow, the governor of Bay region, was the target. The governor was not hurt, but two of his guards and one more person have died,” Mohamud Adan Ibrahim, a police officer in Baidoa, told Anadolu Agency.
The five people wounded were mostly civilians and they have been taken to hospital, the official said.
“It was a horrible incident which shocked us, I was sitting in a shop not far away … and I rushed to see what happened,” Ataf Moalim, a witness, told AFP news agency.
“I saw bodies of people shattered amid the blast,” Ataf added.
Al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda-linked armed group, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Baidoa is one of Somalia’s major cities and is located some 240km (around 150 miles) southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.
Also on Saturday, an IED targeted a security forces convoy in Mogadishu’s Yaqshiid district killing two officers and wounding another.
Al-Shabab has been fighting to overthrow Somalia’s federal government since 2007 and launches regular attacks against government and civilian targets.
A week ago, Somalia’s army said soldiers had killed scores of al-Shabab fighters who attacked two key military bases.
The same day in Mogadishu, five civilians, including a child, were killed when a suicide bomber detonated himself at a tea shop.