Soldier Killed in Suicide Bombing in Southern Somali Townإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
A suicide bomber killed a soldier in the southern Somali town of Baidoa on Tuesday, when he detonated an explosive vest as he tried to enter a government security building, officials said.
"The soldier stopped him and as he carried out a security check, the bomber blew himself up," said Mohamed Samow, a security official.
"The bomber died on the spot, and a soldier, who was seriously injured, died later at hospital,” the official added.
Baidoa, located 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of Mogadishu, was the seat of Somalia's transitional parliament until the hardline Shebab captured it three years ago.
Ethiopian soldiers fighting alongside Somali government forces took control of Baidoa in February.
African Union troops deployed in the town earlier this month, the first time the force has dispatched troops outside the capital Mogadishu since the 10,000-strong force was set up five years ago.
"There was a heavy explosion... I saw the mangled dead body of a man," witness Said Nure said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for Tuesday's bombing, but the al-Qaida allied Shebab insurgents have launched a series of guerrilla attacks and vowed to topple the Western-backed government.
Earlier this month a bomb blast in Baidoa's market killed at least 11 people and wounded several, an attack claimed by the Shebab.
A broad offensive by Ethiopian and Kenyan forces in southern and western Somalia has forced the Shebab rebels from many of their strongholds, while AU troops in Mogadishu have advanced on to the outskirts of the city.
The Shebab have lost several strongholds to the regional armies, and have now begun setting up new bases in Somalia's northern region of Puntland.
However, they have denied that they have been weakened by the onslaught. Analysts warn that the rebels, Somalia's most brutal, still remain a serious threat to international efforts aimed at stabilizing the war-torn country.
Somalia has been plagued by a brutal civil war that erupted 21 years ago with the ouster of president Mohamed Siad Barre, allowing the emergence of a plethora of warlords and armed groups competing for control of a lawless nation.
The international community has renewed efforts to restore normalcy in the country, backing a bid to establish a credible government with a nationwide authority when the term of the current administration expires in August.