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Landmine Blast Kills 6 in Somalia

Six Somali civilians were killed in a landmine explosion on Sunday, just days after the country’s deadliest attack killed hundreds.

Officials in Lower Shabelle region confirmed to VOA Somali that two women and four men died after an improvised explosive device hit a minibus at Daniga village about 35 kilometers north of Mogadishu.

Deputy Governor of Lower Shabelle Ali Nur Mohamed says the victims were traders bringing farm produce and were travelling from Afgoye to Bal’ad.

“They were bringing spinach from Afgoye when the explosion hit their explosion, there are no injuries, all those on board died and the bodies of six people were recovered,” he said.

Mohamed said militant group al-Shabab is burying landmines in the area because they heard the government may be planning a military offensive. He warned officials against publicizing military activities.

“There are people in the system of the government who are publicizing military plans on their Facebook pages, saying there is an imminent attack or saying the president is going to Afgoye,” he said.

He said security forces have found two more landmines Sunday planted in Elasha Biyaha, a Mogadishu suburb, and says they are being dismantled.

Sunday’s attack comes just over a week after the truck bomb in the capital left at least 358 people dead and 228 injured. Nearly 60 people are still missing presumed dead.

On Sunday, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo flew to Uganda to seek military assistance as the government prepares to respond to the attack, according to sources close to the government.

On Saturday Farmajo told members of the Somali army they will be departing for the frontlines. He said he is joining in the battle in support of the troops.

“I will be the first, I’m ready to come to the battleground and sacrifice my life for the defense of Somali people,” he said.