Twin blasts in Somalia kill 22

Mogadishu: The death toll had risen to 22 and more than 30 others are injured after Saturday’s twin suicide bomb attacks in Somalia’s Baidoa town, officials said on Sunday.

Those with serious injuries would be transferred to Mogadishu for further treatment, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ugaas Hassan Abdi, the Information Minister for Southwest State in Somalia, told Xinhua over telephone that two young al-Shabab militants wearing vests carried out the attacks at two main social gatherings in the centre of the town.

“The terrorists targeted innocent civilians, children, youth, community leaders and soldiers at bars near a police station and Bilan hotel in the centre of town. The death toll could rise again,” said Abdi.

The police said a man wearing an explosive device walked into Beder restaurant and blew himself up, killing several people and injuring others in Baidoa, which is considered as the hub of economic activities.

According to the police, another suicide bomber blew himself up at the Bilan hotel, killing more than six people.

The Al Qaeda allied terrorist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying its fighters killed more than 20 people.

The insurgents have stepped up their assault against the government and African Union Mission in Somalia bases across south and central parts of the Horn of Africa nation.