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Gulf Today Report
At least 16 people were killed on Friday in Somalia including three senior military officials when a suicide bomber attacked a stadium in Galkayo ahead of the planned arrival of the country's prime minister, police said.
The militant group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place as a crowd waited for Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble to speak — but he had not yet arrived.
Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble
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Police official Ahmed Abdiasiz said "the location where the blast occurred was overcrowded... so that many people who sustained serious injuries died later. Apart from the members of the army nearly ten civilians also died in the blast".
Galkayo is divided between two self-proclaimed semi-autonomous states — Puntland and Galmudug, which includes Mudug.
On Friday, Galkayo military commander Colonel Ahmed Dahir said the suicide bomber had targeted "senior military officials who stayed close to the entrance of the stadium."Al-Shabaab said in a statement that it had targeted the prime minister in the attack, which it claimed had killed the commanders of two local units.
The toll was likely to rise as scores of people were rushed to hospitals, government spokesman told the media. Earlier, the director of the Aamin Ambulance service, confirmed the 76 dead and said more than 50 others were wounded.
Ali Abdullahi, an official with the Southwestern regional state, told The Associated Press that the mine was detonated by remote control as people were dining during the morning rush. Several others were wounded, he said.
The bloodshed in the capital comes amid an ongoing surge in attacks across Afghanistan, where some 1,500 people were killed or injured last month alone.
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