15 people killed as a result of a large explosion in the city of Beledweyne
Beledweyne (Harar24) – A large explosion occurred hours ago inside the city of Beledweyne in Hiiraan province. Reports are indicating that the explosion occurred at a teashop close by the Lamagalay military base that is known to be frequented by Ethiopian, Djiboutian and Somali forces. Our correspondent on the ground reported that the city beforehand had been on lockdown today and that traffic was limited for reasons unexplained.
It is believed that explosion came as a result of a man who detonated himself in the teashop. A nearby eyewitness told our correspondent that the ordinary looking man approached the restaurant, sat down briefly and then detonated himself in the restaurant, he said: “He walked into the teashop casually, he looked unhurried and there was nothing out of the ordinary, you’d never expect that he would be the cause of such an explosion. He sat down briefly. Moments after sitting down, he did something that triggered the explosion. It was very terrifying. There was smoke and debris everywhere. ”
Our correspondent reported that up to 15 troops died in the attack, most of them being Ethiopians and that scores were injured. However Local reports indicate that the numbers of the dead and injured are high and many were rushed to hospitals.
Our correspondent reported that Ethiopian troops started firing indiscriminately in the aftermath of the explosion, resulting in the death of many bystanders. The firing still continues up until now and many civilians are believed to have died as a result.
The man is believed to have been a member of Al-Shabaab, who are known to carry out such attacks. Beledweyne has recently seen an upsurge in attacks from Al-Shabaab.