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Home Game Hours after this stadium reopened, it was bombed

Hours after this stadium reopened, it was bombed

At least three mortar blasts sent sports fans in Somalia ducking for cover Tuesday evening, hours after the Mogadishu Stadium reopened following years of instability.

The mortar shells struck in and around the stadium, police Colonel Ahmed Muse said. There was no immediate word on any casualties. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group often targets the city.

The blasts occurred after Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed attended the opening ceremonies that included a football match in the nearly empty stadium. He left before the shells hit.

The facade of the rebuilt and reopened Mogadishu Stadium, which was attacked with mortars. (AP)

Footballers warm up on Mogadishu Stadium after the venue was reopened – only to be bombed. (AP)

Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed at the reopening of Mogadishu Stadium. (AP)

A live television broadcast captured the sound of one of the blasts as an interviewer ducked and hurried off-camera. The stadium was hosting a football match.

The 35,000-seat stadium’s opening, complete with a large ceremonial flame, was a symbol of Somalia’s attempts at rebuilding after nearly three decades of conflict. The venue had hosted a base for the African Union peacekeeping force until late last year.

A worker in the stands at Mogadishu Stadium before the venue was attacked with mortars. (AP)

A flame is lit to mark the reopening of Mogadishu Stadium in strife-torn Somalia. (AP)

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