Twin suicide bombs kill 13 near Mogadishu airport

MOGADISHU: At least 13 people were killed on Tuesday in twin bombings near UN and African Union buildings adjoining Mogadishu’s airport, police said, in what the jihadist Al Shabaab group claimed as a suicide attack.

The Al Qaeda aligned Al Shabaab group is blamed for a string of bloody assaults in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, and is fighting to overthrow Mogadishu’s internationally-backed government.

“At least 13 people were confirmed to have died in two explosions, one of the vehicles went off near a security checkpoint and another close to a UN compound,” said Bishaar Abdi Gedi, a police official.

“The security forces have managed to intercept the attackers and foiled the attacks,” Gedi said.

“The two explosions were carried out by two brave Mujahedeen suicide bombers and they have targeted two different locations where the so-called AMISOM peacekeepers are stationed,” Al Shabaab said, referring to the African Union mission to Somalia.The city’s airport is heavily fortified and adjoins the capital’s main base for AMISOM, the 22,000-strong force backing the government in the battle against Al Shabaab insurgents.

AMISOM troops were deployed to Somalia in 2007 to defend the government against attacks by the Al Shabaab.

“Around 9am there was an explosion outside one of our gates, about 200 metres away,” mission spokesman Joe Kibet said.

“It looks like an attack, they intended to attack. Now the situation is calm and our personnel is working on it,” he added.

Source/Credit: Dawn