Explosions rang out in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia Thursday, according to local media reports. Some were reported dead and others seriously injured from a blast at a khat market in the town of Janale, about 60 miles outside the capital city Mogadishu. There was a second explosion reported at a Somali police station nearby Thursday.

Local reports in southeastern Lower Shabelle said the regional governor, Abdikadir Mohamed Nur Sidi, confirmed the explosion at the market but did not elaborate on details. There were reports four women were wounded in the blast, while others said three women were killed. This is a developing story.

Al Shabab has staged a string of recent attacks along the Somali coast in Lower Shabelle this month. Last week, at least 10 people were killed and dozens injured when the Islamist militants detonated a car bomb outside a popular restaurant in Mogadishu on April 21, Reuters said.

Six African Union soldiers were killed in two separate attacks by the al Qaeda-aligned fighters in the town of Leego in southern Lower Shabelle region April 19. A week earlier, Al Shabab militants stormed a government building in the center of Mogadishu and killed at least 10 people, Reuters said.

Many rural areas of Somalia are controlled by Al Shabab, and the terror group has imposed a strict version of Shariah law there. The Somali-based group emerged in 2006 from the now-defunct Islamic Courts Union that controlled Mogadishu. Al Shabab launched its own insurgency on major Somali cities by 2009. The militants have recently increased efforts to oust the United Nations-backed government and to regain control of territories it lost to Somali and international forces around 2012.

Al Shabab militants have also launched attacks into neighboring countries. Earlier this month, the Islamist fighters killed 148 people at a Kenyan university, about 120 miles from the Somalia border.