Beledweyne(Mogadishu24)-At least 20 people mostly civilians were confirmed dead and others injured after a suicide bomber detonated a truck implanted with explosives devices at Horseed security checkpoint in Beledweyne city in Hiiraan region, central Somalia.

The explosion has totally destroyed many buildings in the neighborhoods of Koshin and Hawa Taako in Baledweyne, including commercial areas and residential houses.

Several soldiers and officials from the federal and the regional security forces have also been killed in the explosion according to regional authorities and Police in the city.

The exact number of casualties is not yet known, as rescue efforts are still ongoin, and there more bodies are being removed under the collapsed buildings.

The Prime Minister of Somalia Hamza Abdi Barre expressed deep sorrow over the horrific attack that has killed innocent civilians and soldiers manning the check point.

Beledweyne district Mayor Omar Alasow confirmed the horrific incident and stated thay the checkpoint was a crucial location for security checks on vehicles used by the people of Beledweyne, with nearby market centers.

“The explosion happened in a checkpoint called Horseed, where the soldiers conduct security checks for vehicles crossing that point,” Mayor Omar explained.

“The road is mainly used by the people of Beledweyne, and there were market centers next to it. This attack has caused a lot of civilian casualties, with fatalities taken to Beledweyne hospital, and injured individuals receiving treatment,” he added.

The Mayor revealed that security forces had received preliminary intelligence on a potential attack, but it caught them in the midst of performing security checks.

It is suspected that the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization is responsible for this explosion; however, the militant group has not issued any comments regarding this incident.

This explosion occurred amid the government’s intensified operations against Al-Shabaab militants, particularly in Hiiraan region.

Two weeks ago, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived in Mahas district in the Hiiraan region, to lead the efforts to liberate areas still under the control of Al-Shabaab militants.

Donned with military uniform, the president demonstrated his strong commitment to the offensive against the militants.

Al-Shabaab has resorted with planned attacks on Somali National Army (SNA) bases and civilian targets, and killed dozens of SNA soldiers and civilians.

These attacks have caused public anger and led to calls for action against the Minister of Defense and Army chiefs, whom some accuse of being responsible for military failures.

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