[QODLink]
Africa
Somalia airport comes under attack
At least 14 people, including AU peacekeepers, killed in bomb blasts at airport in the capital Mogadishu.
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2010 03:52 GMT
The government has warned of a surge in violence as Ramadan ends [Reuters]

At least 14 people have been killed in bomb blasts at the main airport in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, witnesses have said.

The victims in Thursday's blasts included African Union (AU) peacekeeping troops.

Witnesses said a car blew up near the airport gates shortly after Sharif Ahmed, the Somali president, flew out. At least two suicide bombers then blew themselves up near the terminal.

Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the anti-government group al-Shabab, claimed responsibility
for the attack and said it was aimed at a high-level meeting of UN, AU and Somali officials taking place at the airport.

Dahira Kheyrow, a female beggar, said two of her fellow beggars were among those killed. She said she fell to the ground after the car bomb went off.

"I stood up and tried to run again. Gunfire began and there was another vehicle," she said.

"All I could see were two of my fellow beggars lying in a pool of blood. Their faces were burnt beyond recognition."

'Massive war'

Somalia's interim government warned on Wednesday that it expected a surge in violence as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan draws to a close.

Al-Shabab in August declared a "massive, final" war against what it called "invaders", an apparent reference to the 6,000 African Union troops deployed in the country to support government forces.

Fighters attacked army barracks in several districts of Mogadishu following the announcement and dozens were killed.

Days later, armed men stormed a Mogadishu hotel and killed 32 people, including parliamentarians.

Hundreds of new peacekeepers, mostly Ugandan, have arrived in recent weeks to help the government in its battle against al-Shabab.

The force has so far been able to do little more than guard the airport and port and shield the president.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list