Explosions in two Somalia towns kill at least 5: police, residents

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Separate explosions in two southern Somalia towns killed at least five people on Wednesday, including a local administrator, state radio, police and residents said.

The al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militant group said it carried out both attacks.

In the first incident, two bombs planted in a livestock market in Afgoye town in Lower Shabelle region killed at least four people, police and residents said.

“One bomb exploded but caused no casualty, then a second bomb exploded , killing four civilians,” Police Captain Nur Farah told Reuters from Afgoye.

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The second explosion in the port town of Marka killed its district commissioner, state-run radio said.

“The District Commissioner of Marka, the provincial Capital of Lower Shabelle, Abdullahi Ali Wafow was killed in terrorist explosion in the town,” Radio Muqdisho said in a tweet, citing local security officials.

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Ahmed Farah, a Marka resident, said security personnel had sealed off the scene of the blast.

Al Shabaab military spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab said the Islamist group was behind both attacks.

“We killed in an attack the Marka district commissioner and those with him. In Afgoye we killed two soldiers in an explosion,” Musab told Reuters.

Al Shabaab has been fighting for more than 10 years to dislodge the country’s central government and establish rule based on its strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.

The group frequently carries out gun assaults and bombings of both military and civilian targets in Somalia and has also carried out attacks on regional targets, especially in neighbouring Kenya.