MOGADISHU, May 12 (Xinhua) -- At least 13 people were killed and more than 20 others injured in a car bomb blast in the southern Somali town of Baidoa, police and witnesses said on Monday.
The vehicle laden with explosives was targeting government soldiers when went off at the centre of Baidoa, provincial capital of Bay region in south of Somalia.
"The explosion left 13 people dead and we know more than 20 others were injured," police officer Must Elmi told Xinhua.
Witnesses said the dead also included three government soldiers who were in the vicinity of the blast, the deadliest in the town since government forces and African Union peacekeepers took control from militants Al-Shabaab fighters back in 2011.
Local medics arrived at the scene following the explosion and rushed the injured to the main hospital in the town while security forces cordoned off the area and began searches for suspects.
The town is largely closed and movement is restricted in and around the area of the explosion as well as near government and African Union peacekeeping Mission (AMISOM).
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack but the radical Islamist group of Al-Shabaab which has links to Al- Qeada often carries similar attacks on government and AMISOM targets.
Al-Shabaab has been driven out of much of the urban centers in the south and center of Somalia including the capital Mogadishu since 2011 and the group has been launching deadly guerilla attacks in government controlled areas in Somalia.