Five people watching a local football match in Barawe, a town in southern Somalia controlled by government forces, have been killed in an attack by Islamist al-Shabab militants.
At least 10 others were also injured in the attack on Tabuuk Stadium. This is the first time an the terrorists targeted a stadium.
The al-Qaeda-linked group hid the device under the seats and says it was targeting Somali soldiers, but eyewitnesses said all the victims were civilians. Police said it appeared the bomb was detonated by remote control.
Last month, al-Shabab ordered the closure of all football stadiums in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The UN-backed government told pitch owners not to obey, but more than 20 grounds have closed in the Karaan, Yaqshid and Heliwaa districts of the city.
This latest attack could further worry players and ground owners from engaging in sporting activities. Al-Shabab already bans the playing of football and the watching of matches on TV in the areas it controls.
Al Shabaab are fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government and establish their own rule based on their strict interpretation of Islamic law.
The group frequently carries out bombings and gun attacks in the capital Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia.