Two suicide bombers detonated two vehicles laden with explosives at around 9AM local time close to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping base and the airport in Somalia’s capital, killing 13 people, and leaving 5 wounded.
A suicide bomber rammed car packed with explosives through a Somali security checkpoint and then detonated the explosives causing casualties.
Seconds later another car arrived and this time the suicide bomber detonated the car close to security forces and nearby AU forces.
The militant Islamist group, al-Shabab, has said it was behind the blasts and its target was the AU force’s headquarters.
The UN and African Union (AU) envoys in Somalia on Tuesday condemned the attacks
In separate statements, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating, said the horrific incident is a fresh example of the extremists’ desperate attempts to disrupt political progress.
“Al-Shabaab have once again carried out a ruthless attack that has claimed the lives of at least a dozen Somalis,” Keating said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
Keating confirmed that no UN personnel were among the confirmed dead.
He said the overwhelming majority of Somalis have rejected such terrorist tactics and the use of violence to achieve political objectives.
“Neither the Somali authorities nor the United Nations will be deterred from moving forward,” he said.
Report says the Horn of Africa nation is due to hold limited franchise elections later this year.
The entrance targeted in the bombing is regularly used by employees who work at the airport.
Residents in the area also reported hearing two massive simultaneous explosions.
Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia, Francisco Madeira, also condemned the “senseless attacks” that he said aim to disrupt and cripple the lives of ordinary Somalis.
“These attacks must be stopped. AMISOM confirms that there have been two bomb explosions at checkpoints near entrances to its base at Halane this morning,” Madeira said.
Madeira noted that investigations were underway on the number of casualties and damage.
Photo Credit: Nour Gelle Gedi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images