Five killed in Eid Al Fitr bomb explosion in Somalia

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At least five people were killed and more than 20 wounded on Sunday after a bomb exploded during Eid Al Fitr celebrations in Somalia.

The explosion was caused by a bomb in Baidoa, 250 kilometres outside the capital Mogadishu.

“The initial information we have received indicates the bodies of five people were collected from the scene of the blast and more than 20 others have been wounded,” police officer Mohamed Muktar told AFP.

The death toll could increase because of the severity of some of the injuries, he said.

Local police said that the wounded were taken to the Baidoa hospital for treatment.

Witness Mohamud Ibrahim said the crowd had been dancing and singing when the blast occurred.

“The blast was huge and it caused casualties more than a grenade may cause,” he said.

Another witness, Abdi Hassan, said people had gathered there on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the Eid festivities, especially dancing.

“How can someone shed the blood of innocent civilians when they have been enjoying their Eid festival?” Mr Hassan asked.

“These perpetrators, whoever they are, have turned their happiness into sadness.”

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda affiliate, was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and lost most of its strongholds, but still controls vast parts of the countryside.

Its militants have pledged to overthrow the internationally backed government in the capital and still carry out attacks including suicide bombings against government and international targets.

In 2013 and 2016 the group launched deadly attacks on beachfront restaurants in Mogadishu.