A security officer is seen at the scene of a large explosion near a check point in Mogadishu, Somalia, 28 December 2019. A source at a hospital said that the death toll has risen to at least 76 in what is believed to have been a car bombing. The explosion rocked an area near the junction called Ex-Control Afgoye, in a southwestern suburb of the capital Mogadishu. EPA/SAID YUSUF WARSAME
A security officer is seen at the scene of a large explosion near a check point in Mogadishu, Somalia, 28 December 2019. A source at a hospital said that the death toll has risen to at least 76 in what is believed to have been a car bombing. The explosion rocked an area near the junction called Ex-Control Afgoye, in a southwestern suburb of the capital Mogadishu. EPA/SAID YUSUF WARSAME

At least five people were killed and ten others injured following a bomb attack in Baidoa, southwest Somalia on Saturday, officials said.

Somali government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar Omar confirmed the attack, saying the militant group al-Shabab was behind the latest attack in Baidoa town, the administrative capital of Southwest State in Somalia.

“Remote control landmine blast killed five people and injured 10 others. Most of the victims of the attack were civilians and the casualties could rise as this is the initial report,” Omar told journalists, noting that the situation was still tense.

Omar said the casualties were innocent civilians who were going about their daily routines in the area.

Local residents said the explosion targeted a local tax collection center, south of Baidoa town but exploded at a nearby restaurant.

“The remote-controlled explosive device targeted a tax collection center which is located in the town on Bardhere road. The casualties included passersby and some security officers,” said a resident who declined to be named.

On Saturday morning, another bomb attack happened in front of the revenue headquarters in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, injuring seven people, including security guards.

The Somali government has condemned the two attacks, saying the two incidents will not deter its resolve to stabilize Somalia.

The Somali security forces backed by allied forces have stepped up their air and ground operations against the militants in the country despite the militants’ continued resistance, at times targeting military bases, hotels and other public places. Enditem

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