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MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Witnesses say at least nine people, including five soldiers, were killed Tuesday when an explosives-laden car targeted the entrance of a guest house in the southern Somalia town of Bardhere in Gedo region. Suleyman Hassan, who works with the district commissioner, told The Associated Press that the governor and senior military officers were wounded and airlifted to the capital, Mogadishu. The extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack that occurred as military officers and Gedo administration officials in Bardhere began to recruit locals to help drive al-Shabab out of the Middle and Lower Jubba districts.

Witness Ibrahim Aden said at least 10 people including civilians were wounded. “I have seen with my own eyes several people, including two of my distant relatives, sustain injuries,” he said.