A roadside bomb has killed at least eight civilians including three children traveling in a minivan in the volatile region of Mudug in central Somalia, military officials told dpa on Tuesday.
Four other people were injured in the attack near Beledweyne and are in critical condition, Masuud Warsame, a senior military official, said.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack but military sources said the Islamist terrorist militia al-Shabaab is likely behind it.
Al-Shabaab has been fighting for dominance in the East African country on the Horn of Africa for years.
The group, which controls large parts of Somalia’s south and the centre, routinely plants roadside bombs to target military convoys, but they often kill civilians instead.
On the weekend, a Somali infantry chief survived a similar attack in the area.
Three weeks ago, the military launched an offensive to oust al-Shabaab fighters from the region.
So far, about 200 militants have been killed in the offensive which also deployed US drones, according to Security Minister Ahmed Moalin Fiqi.
Vehicles carrying explosives were destroyed from the air in the southern Jubba province, possibly with the help of the drones.
Meanwhile, security levels were ramped up in Mogadishu on Tuesday in fear of terror attacks.