At least 14 people were killed Tuesday when Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab detonated two bombs on an approach road to Mogadishu's international airport, police said.
African Union soldiers, United Nations security guards and Somalian soldiers were among those killed, according to police commissioner Bishar Abdi Gedi.
Several buildings used by the UN are located near the airport, as are barracks used by AU troops, who are in Somalia to help the government fight al-Shabaab.
Two suicide bombers drove vehicles loaded with explosives towards the entrance of the capital's Aden Adde International Airport at about 0630 GMT.
Witnesses said the first explosion "shook the whole city" when it went off at an AU checkpoint. The second bomb was detonated at a checkpoint manned by Somali troops, near the UN headquarters, security official Mohamed Hassan said.
Huge clouds of smoke rose above the city. Witnesses reported hearing gunfire for an hour after the bombings.
"I saw everyone running ... People were falling on the ground," witness Mustafa Ali said. "Others were looking for somewhere to hide from the flying bullets over our heads."
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the airport blasts on its radio station Andalus, saying its fighters killed 27 AU and UN soldiers during the attack. The claim could not be independently verified by dpa.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack noting that "such criminal acts will not diminish the strong resolve of the United Nations to continue supporting the people and government of Somalia," said Farhan Haq, Ban's deputy spokesman, in New York.
Haq said that no UN personnel had been killed in the attack adding that it was mainly because of the work of security guards around the compound who prevented the vehicles from entering.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 13:57