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Five killed in Somalia suicide attack, governor wounded

At least five people have been killed and 11 others, including a regional governor, wounded in a suicide attack in southern Somalia, police said.

A vehicle laden with explosives ploughed into a guest house hosting government officials in Bardera, 450 kilometres (279 miles) west of the capital Mogadishu, area police commander Hussein Adan, said on Tuesday.

“The explosion destroyed most parts of the building and five security guards died in the blast,” Adan said. 

Eleven people, including the governor Ahmed Bulle Gared, were injured, he added. 

Mohamud Saney, who witnessed Tuesday’s attack, said, they had “never heard anything as big as the explosion.”

“It shook the earth like an earthquake.”

Bloody insurgency 

Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab terrorist group claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s bombing through their Shahada News Agency, according to the US monitoring group SITE.

Al Shabab has been waging an insurgency against the central government in the fragile nation for about 15 years.

In recent months, the Somali army and local clan militias have retaken chunks of territory from the armed group in an operation backed by US air strikes and an African Union force known as ATMIS.

Despite the gains by the pro-government forces, the armed group has continued to demonstrate the ability to strike back with lethal force against civilian and military targets.

In the deadliest Al Shabab attack since the offensive was launched last year, 121 people were killed in two car bomb explosions at the education ministry in Mogadishu in October.

The UN last month said that 2022 was the deadliest year for civilians in Somalia since 2017, largely because of an increase in mass-casualty attacks by the group.

Although forced out of Mogadishu and other main urban centres more than a decade ago, Al Shabab remains entrenched in parts of rural central and southern Somalia.

READ MORE: Several soldiers killed in Al Shabab attack on Somalia army base

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