22 people, including two children, were killed in southern Somalia on Friday when unexploded mortar shells detonated, according to a local district official, Ednews reports via BBC.
During a press conference, the official named Abdi Ahmed Ali said that the explosion happened near the town of Qoryoley, approximately 120 kilometers south of Somalia's capital Mogadishu. According to AFP, most victims were "young children who died on the spot after one of them struck an explosive device near a playground."
The region is frequently targeted by the al-Shabaab group, which has been leading an insurgency against the internationally backed-Somali federal government since 2007. Last month, the al-Qaeda-affiliated group killed 54 Ugandan peacekeepers in an attack on an African Union base in Bulo Marer, a town about 30 kilometers from Qoryoley.
Though the group has been pushed out of Somalia's main towns and cities, it still holds considerable power in large parts of the countryside.