Mogadishu — THE African Union (AU) has condemned the killing of no less than 26 civilians during an attack by suspected Muslim radicals south of Somalia.
Scores more were injured during the explosion bearing the hallmarks of the al-Shabaab in the town of Kismayo on Saturday.
Francisco Madeira, Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, said the attack was meant to derail progress in the country as it rebuilt and consolidated the gains made on peace and security.
"The attackers are a group of people with a criminal, murderous and destructive agenda. They cannot claim to be fighting to bring good governance to the country," the envoy said.
He extended sympathy and condolences to the families and victims of the terror attack.
The attack came as AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) pledged to enhance its support to the country's security forces as they continued to liberate areas remaining under the control of violent extremists.
Madeira said the peace force would work with the federal government, its member states and the international community to track down and bring the perpetrators to justice.
AMISOM was deployed in 2007 to curtail Islamist sects in central and southern Somalia. The joint AU-United Nations force's mandate expires in May 2020.