Heavy casualties are feared after suspected al-Shabab militants detonated explosives in the crowded main market of Bardhere in south Somalia.

VOA's Somalia service suggested that the blasts targeted the commercial district of the south Somalian town. The explosion comes just a day after senior military officers from the African Union Mission in Somalia and the Somali National Army (SNA) promised to join forces in fighting militant insurgent group al-Shabab.

"If we do not work together to defeat al-Shabab and if we cannot effectively hand over the security of Somalia to the Somali national security forces, then we'll have failed in achieving our mandate," Commander General Osman Noor Soubagleh said at a conference on 24 August.

Soubagleh said the meeting would assist both forces to plan, prepare, coordinate and synchronise joint operations directed against the Islamic militants.

The SNA team was led by the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Alibaashi Mohamed, who said he had witnessed the troubles of the Somali people under al-Shabab.

"If we act together and get support from partners we'll make major strides," Mohamed told the joint conference, according to AllAfrica.

Deputy President William Ruto of Kenya announced that the government had deployed 40 police vehicles, 10 armoured personnel carriers and more than 1,500 military personnel in a bid to wipe out al-Shabab in Lamu county.

He was in Mpeketoni on Wednesday, according to Tuko News. "The last time I was here, I was mourning the loss of more than 100 brothers who lost their lives in the Mpeketoni massacre terror attack. Today, I have come here to celebrate with you since Lamu is safe. As government, we are doing all we can to ensure your safety," said Ruto, as quoted in the Daily Nation.

"We will ensure al-Shabab is completely neutralised in Lamu county to ensure the county is a success for living, visiting and investing in," added Ruto.