Residents and official media in Somalia report that the terrorist organization al-Shabab is responsible for the deaths of at least 20 persons and the destruction of seven cars that were bringing food in the Hiran district early on Saturday.
Residents have stated that the attack was carried out as reprisal for a local mobilization that was carried out against a group associated with al Qaeda.
Hassan Abdulle, a local resident, told The Associated Press by phone that seven trucks carrying food and vehicles used by the passengers were set on fire. “The victims were drivers and passengers transporting food supplies from Beletweyne to Mahas,” Abdulle said. “A total of seven trucks carrying food and vehicles used by the passengers were set on fire.”
The assault took place one day after government forces cleared the main route between Beletweyne and Mataban of land mines that al-Shabab had placed there with the intention of ambushing passing motorists and pedestrians.