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Blast Near Mogadishu Kills 4, Including Child

Four people have been killed and six others wounded in a remote-controlled improvised explosive device explosion near the Somali capital on Tuesday, officials and witnesses said.

Three government soldiers and a seven-year-old-boy were killed after the explosion hit a military vehicle at K-13, a suburb near Mogadishu, witnesses said.

District commissioner Kahda Mohamed Ismail Abdullahi told VOA Somali that the three soldiers were in the vehicle targeted in the explosion.

“The child was about seven years old; he was bystander walking on the side of the road,” Abdullahi said.

The injured include soldiers as well as civilians, he said.

The explosion occurred just before 2 p.m. local time in one of the suburbs predominantly inhabited by internally displaced people along the Mogadishu-Afgoye corridor.

Al-Shabab militants claimed responsibility for the explosion and said it killed an officer.

Al-Shabab relies heavily on IEDs, including remote-controlled, magnetic, vehicle-borne and under-vehicle devices, to target government soldiers, African Union troops and civilians.

Abdullahi says authorities don’t have the expertise or equipment to search for explosives every day as vehicular traffic begins and members of the public start going about their business.

He said militants infiltrate areas “in the dead of night” to bury IEDs.

“We only rely on our eyes. When we spot, we call for explosive expertise to defuse,” he said.