Monday, January 2, 2017

Suicide Bomber Kills 3 in Somalia

At least five people were killed in Somalia’s capital Monday when suicide bombers detonated two vehicles packed with explosives near the city’s international airport.

Militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the blasts, which went off outside the main base of AMISOM, the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

A security source told VOA’s Somali Service that two civilians and one soldier were killed, along with the two bombers.

AMISOM said on Twitter that first vehicle destroyed a Somali National Security Forces checkpoint. It said the second exploded about 200 meters away from the gate to the AMISOM base.

The checkpoint is near United Nations offices and the Peace Hotel Mogadishu, where officials and foreigners often stay when in Somalia’s capital.

Although al-Shabab has been forced out of most of its key strongholds in south and central Somalia, the group continues to carry out fatal attacks throughout the country.

Mogadishu is the target of frequent bomb attacks that have complicated Somalia’s efforts to rebuild after decades of turmoil. The coming presidential election could be a key step toward stability, but has been delayed numerous times due to security and other concerns.

Harun Maruf contributed to this report from Washington.

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