Four Footballers Die in Somalia Bomb Blast

A bomb planted on a bus has left four footballers dead and six others injured in Kismayo, Southern Somali.

Police officer Mohamed Guled Hassan says the ill-fated bus was carrying young players who were on their way to attend a football tournament, which was opening in the town.

Radio Mogadishu said government officials were expected at the stadium where a local league competition was scheduled to launch today.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack but Hassan, a deputy commander of Jubaland regional police forces, blamed al-Shabab militants.

Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, in a short statement on Twitter, said: “This heinous attack against young innocent players is another evidence of the terrorists’ enmity against the lives of Somali youth.”

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The attack occurred a day after the Jubaland State assembly elected four members of the nation’s upper house of parliament.

Al-Shabab has threatened to attack anyone involved in the Thursday vote, which was a major step toward electing a new parliament and president.

Siyad Mohamed Mursa, the Chairman of the Jubaland State Electoral Commission, stressed the importance of the polls, describing it as “a very successful step taken forward.”

On his part, Mohamed Hassan Irro, the Chairman of the Somali Federal Electoral Commission, said the election in Kismayo was “the beginning of a full success for our long-delayed elections.”

He added, “IIt was held under a secure smooth and democratic process. We hope that the other states in the country will do the same because the process is on the right track despite the setbacks.”

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