More than 40 people have been killed in a bomb explosion and a terrorist attack in Somalia. At least 27 people died when a mortar shell exploded at a soccer field in the southern Lower Shabelle region on Friday. According to information from the Arabic broadcaster Al-Jazeera, the fatalities were between ten and 15 years old. More than 50 other people were injured.
According to media reports, the explosive device was a remnant of fighting between various Somali warring factions and was uncovered by rain. The children were playing with the grenade when it detonated, deputy district chief Abdi Ahmed told reporters. “We are asking the government and aid organizations to clear the area of mines and grenades,” said Ahmed.
Terrorist attack on hotel in Mogadishu
The blast happened near the town of Qoryoley, about 120 kilometers south of the capital, Mogadishu. There was an attack on a beach hotel there on Friday evening. Fighters from the Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab stormed the Pearl Beach Hotel on Lido Beach and killed at least eight people, including five hotel guests, two security guards and a police officer.
According to the police, six al-Shabaab fighters were killed in the attack. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance to the hotel and gunmen then stormed the building, police officer Mohamed Dahir said. Another security official said the attackers took hotel guests hostage. During the siege, more than 120 people were rescued from the hotel and adjacent facilities. Somali security forces ended the terrorist attack early Saturday morning.
Somalia has been plagued by conflict for years. The terrorist group Al-Shabaab controls parts of the East African country and repeatedly carries out attacks on government officials, soldiers and the civilian population. Just last week, around 54 Ugandan soldiers were killed in a heavy attack on a base of the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission.