mogadishu airport.jpg
Photograph: Screenshot / Google maps

Two large explosions were reported at the entrance to the international airport in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Tuesday, according to police, with at least three people killed.

The explosions occurred around 0630 GMT. At least one of them was believed to be a car bomb. Witnesses also reported hearing gunfire.

"I saw everyone running ... People were falling on the ground. Others were looking for somewhere to hide from the flying bullets over our heads," witness Mustafa Ali said.

At least three civilians were confirmed dead in the attack, senior Somali police officer Ali Hassan said.

The Somali militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the airport blasts on its radio station Andalus, but this claim could not be independently verified by dpa.

There are several buildings used by the United Nations near the airport, as well as barracks used by African Union troops, who are in Somalia to help the government fight against al-Shabaab.

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