Somalia Baidoa bombings which killed dozens blamed on al-Shabaab militant group

Local reports say 55 people have been killed and more injured

Dozens of people are reported to have been killed by explosions in Somalia.

Two blasts in Baidoa, in the tense southern region of the country, have killed as many as 55 people, local reports say.

At least 60 are thought to be injured.

"The restaurant and the junction were very busy and the death toll may rise," Police Major Bilow Nurr told Reuters from the town.

A car bomb exploded near a pharmacy and a female suicide bomber detonated near a restaurant in the town, CNN reported.

It has been reported by local media outlet Radio Daslan that the restaurant's customers were watching today's Arsenal vs Manchester United football match. 

Ismail Olad was close to the explosions.

"I heard a huge crash at the busy junction and as I ran, I heard another blast at a restaurant ahead of me. The whole place was covered by smoke," he said.

Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, who are aligned with al-Qaeda, have claimed responsibility for the attacks.

 "We targeted government officials and forces," al Shabaab's military operation spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters.

Baidoa is a critical location in the fight against the militant group, who have been waging a guerrilla conflict against the Somali government and neighbouring Kenya.

Last week, nine civilians were left dead after al-Shabaab raided the Somali Youth League hotel in the capital, Mogadishu.  

The militant group aims to establish an Islamic state in Somalia.

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