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Ten people died and six were injured when a minibus carrying passengers from El-Barde hit a landmine just east of the town of Luq – the latest civilian casualties caused by militant Islamist group al-Shabaab’s tactic of booby trapping roads in the border region of Gedo.
Al-Shabaab, which is facing a strong government advance in the region, has turned to hit-and-run tactics and landmines to slow down troop movements.
The injured people included women and children, and an eight-year-old boy lost his right hand in the blast. Casualties were taken to Luq hospital, although their arrival was delayed due to fears of more landmines along the route. Only the driver escaped without injury.
Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Transitional Federal Government’s district commissioner of Luq, Ibrahim Abdullahi Ahmed told Somalia Report, “The landmine was put in place by al-Shabaab, which often plants remote-controlled explosives with the intention of destroying the TFG’s heavy artillery.”
The area has experienced similar explosions in the past few months. On Tuesday night in Salbay village, seven kilometers south of Luq, a group of camels heading to a nearby borehole hit a landmine, killing five of the beasts of burden. On March 29, a landmine killed two herdsmen and their donkeys near Luq as they were ferrying food and other goods. The landmines have restricted the movement of goods, raising prices in the area.