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Roadside blast kills 5 in Somalia

At least five people – including a deputy governor and a former minister – were killed and several others wounded in a roadside blast targeting their vehicle in the Middle Shabelle region of Somalia on Sunday, police said.

Mahamud Dhuhlow, a police officer in the region, told Anadolu Agency over the phone the incident took place near the town of Bal’ad, located 40 kilometers (24 miles) northeast of Somali capital Mogadishu.

Hirshabelle State President Mohamed Abdi Ware confirmed the attack and the deaths of Deputy Governor of Middle Shabelle region Abdullahi Sitawe and former Hirshabelle’s Business Minister Sabriye Osman.

Soldiers from Hirshabelle are also among the dead, according to local media.

Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.