Somalia: 5 killed in football stadium bomb blast

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Five football fans were killed and several others wounded on Thursday when a bomb exploded at a packed stadium in Barawe, southern Somalia.

Officials say most of the eight people who were injured in the blast remain in critical condition. According to witnesses, the bomb was buried at the stadium prior to the match and exploded during the local game on Thursday evening. Militant group al-Shabaab has already claimed responsibility for the attack.

5 killed at football stadium

The bomb exploded during a final match between local teams Elmen and SYL. Barawe commissioner, Hersi Barre Jeeh, said the device was planted in the VIP seats of the stadium, targeting senior officials who were watching the game.

No players were injured in the blast but the identities of those killed and injured in the explosion are yet to be confirmed.

“Five football fans are so far confirmed dead and eight others injured in the blast,” the commissioner said in a statement. “The death toll is likely to rise further as some of the wounded are in critical condition.”

Barawe used to be a key al-Shabaab stronghold, roughly 220km south of Mogadishu, before Somali forces and African Union troops forced the militant group out of the town. In September, Mogadishu held its first nighttime football match in decades, months after the country’s football federation announced plans to hold international games – citing an improved security situation.

Featured image: By Ilyas Ahmed for AMISOM Photo – Flickr, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45607711

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.