Mogadishu - Authorities in Somalia say bomb blasts near the southern coastal town of Kismayo killed at least four people and wounded 11 others. Separately, Somali authorities say the U.S. launched an airstrike in central Somalia in support of counterterrorism operations.
One of the bomb blasts targeted a minibus carrying civilians in the village of Buulo-haji on the outskirts of Kismayo, the administrative capital of the southern Somali state of Jubaland, resulting in multiple casualties.
A police officer in the port city of Kismayo who spoke with VOA on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media said the attacks involved multiple landmine explosions and killed more than 4 people.
He said more than 11 others were wounded and taken to Kismayo hospitals for treatment.
Medical sources told VOA that some of the wounded have life-threatening injuries.
Residents told VOA that after the first explosion that hit the minibus, rescuers who were trying to reach the site were hurt when the second explosion went off.
Authorities blamed al-Qaida-linked Islamist group al-Shabab for the attack, but no one has yet to claim responsibility.
Kismayo is a major port city, located 500 kilometers south of Mogadishu.
Meanwhile, Somali officials said U.S. forces launched an airstrike at the request of the Somali federal government in the central Hiran region. There was no U.S. confirmation.
Government officials say the airstrike was conducted in defense of Somali National Army forces who, at the time, were conducting counterterrorism operations in the region.
According to a short statement issued by Somali authorities, there were no civilians harmed in the incident and the United States continues to support its Somali partners.