A mortar shell explosion near Qoryoley, a city in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, killed about 27 people, mainly children, and injured 53 on Friday, according to the state news agency.
Children “were playing with a mortar shell that did not go off. It exploded on them,” said Abdi Ahmed, deputy district commissioner of Qoryoley, a city of about 60,000 people south of the country’s capital, Mogadishu.
“We request the government and aid agencies to clear mines and shells from the area,” Mr. Ahmed added.
Residents said that the unexploded shells were used by the warring factions in Somalia.
In Mogadishu on Friday, a beachside hotel was attacked, with the Al Shabab extremist group claiming responsibility, according to The Associated Press. As of Friday evening, no fatalities were reported in the assault on the Pearl Beach hotel, as security forces continued to battle with the militants overnight.