At least six people were killed and several others wounded in three different bomb blasts in Somalia on Wednesday, police and military officials confirmed.
Four soldiers were killed and several others injured when a bomb blast targeted a vehicle carrying military personnel near the town of Bal'ad, Middle Shabelle region.
Bal'ad is an agricultural town 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of Mogadishu. The Al-Shabaab militant group, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack. The armed group been fighting the state for over a decade to impose Islamic law.
Earlier in the day, a civilian was killed and two others wounded when a roadside bomb targeted a vehicle carrying construction workers in the capital.
Meanwhile, a soldier was killed and at least five people wounded in an explosion in a restaurant in Diinsoor, a town in southwestern Bay region.
Col. Ahmed Abdullahi Sheikh, a former special forces commander, said the government has put in more efforts on asserting greater central control, and has failed in combating domestic insurgency.
"Election season always follows increased insecurity... the relaxed security posture and willingness to make headlines further contributes to the situation," he told Anadolu Agency.
The current government's mandate ends on Feb. 8, but there are disagreements over when to conduct the parliamentary and presidential elections.