The attacks involved many landmine blasts, according to a police official in the port city of Kismayo who talked with VOA on the condition of anonymity.
The official said more than 11 others were wounded and taken to Kismayo hospitals for treatment. Medical sources told VOA that some of the wounded have life-threatening injuries.
Residents also told VOA that after the first explosion hit the minibus, rescuers who were trying to reach the site were hurt when a second explosion went off.
Authorities blamed al-Qaida-linked Islamist group al-Shabab for the attack, but no one has yet claimed responsibility.
Kismayo is a major port city, located 500 kilometers south of Mogadishu.
Meanwhile, Somali officials said U.S. forces launched an airstrike at the request of the Somali federal government in the central Hiran region. There was no U.S. confirmation.
Government officials say the airstrike was conducted in defense of Somali National Army forces who were, at the time, conducting counterterrorism operations in the region.
According to a short statement issued by Somali authorities, there were no civilians harmed in the incident and the U.S. continues to support its Somali partners.