At least thirteen people were killed in the double car bomb attacks targeting security forces near the Mogadishu airport on Tuesday morning.
Gunfire followed the attack which has been claimed by al Shabaab Islamist militants. Security forces stopped the shooters in the United Nations premises which also hosts African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces.
“At least 13 people were killed in two explosions. A vehicle exploded near a checkpoint and another near a UN building. The security forces managed to intercept the attackers and to repel the attack,” a police official, Bishaar Abdi Gedi, told AFP.
Al Shabaab claimed the attacks in a statement. “The two explosions were carried out by two courageous Mujahideen suicide bombers who targeted two places where the alleged peacekeeping troops are based,” the group said.
AMISOM has condemned the attack which it describes as senseless. “The AMISOM condemns these senseless attacks that were intended only to disrupt and paralyze the lives of ordinary Somalis. We must stop these attacks,” they stated on their Twitter page.
AMISOM (@amisomsomalia) July 26, 2016
AMISOM spokesperson Joe Kibet has however assured that the situation is calm.“Around 9:00 am (0600 GMT), there was an explosion outside our compound, about 200 m. It looked like an attack, they wanted to attack. Now the situation is calm and our staff working on what s happened,” he told AFP.
Al Shabaab militants are noted for setting off car bombs targeting security personnel. Early this month, al Shabaab killed 10 Somali soldiers when they rammed a car packed with explosives into a Somali army base southwest of the capital.
In January, the al Shabaab militia also launched an early morning attack on an AMISOM base in the town of El-Adde, near the Ethiopian border. More than 100 Kenyan soldiers were killed.