middle east

Mortar blast kills 27, mostly children, in Somalia

A mortar shell explosion near Qoryoley town in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region killed about 27 people, mainly children, and injured 53 on Friday, according to the country’s state news agency.

Earlier, officials and residents confirmed that the death toll stood at 20.

“This disaster happened today near Qoryoley town. They were playing with a mortar shell that did not go off,” Abdi Ahmed, deputy district commissioner of Qoryoley, told reporters.

“It exploded on them. Twenty of them died and others are injured.

“We request the government and aid agencies to clear mines and shells from the area.”

Residents said that unexploded shells like the one the children were playing with had been used by warring factions in the country.

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