The Somalia-based, al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion in the port town of Barawe. Witnesses said the bomb had been buried in the sandy stadium and went off during the local-level match.
Most of the eight people wounded were in serious condition and were being treated at a local hospital, police Col. Abdirizak Ahmed told The Associated Press.
Barawe once was a key al-Shabab stronghold before Somali and African Union forces seized the town and drove out the extremists, who had banned sports activities in areas under their control. Al-Shabab still has a large presence in Lower Shabelle region and has carried out several attacks in the town.
The extremist group often targets high-profile areas of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and it was blamed for the October truck bombing there that killed 512 people in the country’s deadliest-ever attack. Only a few attacks worldwide since 9/11 have killed more people.
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