News24

Suicide bomber kills soldier in Somali town

2012-04-17 10:27

Mogadishu - A suicide bomber killed a soldier in the southern Somali town of Baidoa on Tuesday, when he detonated an explosive vest as he tried to enter a government security building, officials said.

"The soldier stopped him and as he carried out a security check, the bomber blew himself up," said Mohamed Samow, a security official.

"The bomber died on the spot, and a soldier, who was seriously injured, died later at hospital", the official added.

Baidoa, located 250km northwest of Mogadishu, was the seat of Somalia's transitional parliament until the hardline Shabaab captured it three years ago.

Ethiopian soldiers fighting alongside Somali government forces took control of Baidoa in February.

African Union troops deployed in the town earlier this month, the first time the force has dispatched troops outside the capital Mogadishu since the 10 000-strong force was set up five years ago.

"There was a heavy explosion... I saw the mangled dead body of a man," witness Said Nure said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Tuesday's bombing, but the al-Qaeda allied Shabaab insurgents have launched a series of guerrilla attacks and vowed to topple the Western-backed government.

Earlier this month a bomb blast in Baidoa's market killed at least 11 people and wounded several, an attack claimed by the Shabaab.

A broad offensive by Ethiopian and Kenyan forces in southern and western Somalia has forced the Shabaab rebels from many of their strongholds, while AU troops in Mogadishu have advanced on to the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu.