Bomber hits peacekeeping convoy in Somalia

Two civilians killed in suicide bomb attack targeting African Union peacekeeping forces in capital Mogadishu.

    Bomber hits peacekeeping convoy in Somalia
    No peacekeepers died but a number of people were wounded in the attack [Reuters]

    A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into an African peacekeeping convoy, killing at least two people in the Somali capital Mogadishu, officials have said.

    The attack on Friday was claimed by al-Shabab fighters who carried out the deadly assault on a nearby UN base last month and another bombing in a Mogadishu market this week.

    No peacekeepers died but a number of people were wounded in the attack.

    Ambulance sirens wailed through the congested streets and a plume of black smoke billowed into the sky above the city near the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) base where 22 people were killed in an al-Shabaab assault last month.

    "We have carried eight injured civilians including two women," the director of Mogadishu's ambulance service, Abdikadir Abdirahman, said.

    'US officials targeted'

    Al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters news agency that the convoy was carrying a number of American officials, but the claim could not be confirmed independently.

    "We are behind the martyrdom explosion ... The Americans were our main target," he said.

    A diplomatic source, who asked to remain anonymous, said he believed the al-Shabab claim regarding the American presence in the convoy was false.

    Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated outfit, was pushed out of bases in Mogadishu by Somali and African forces last year, raising hopes of a return to relative security in a city hit by years of war.

    But the fighters have kept up guerrilla-style attacks and continue to control large rural areas, challenging the authority of a government less than one year old.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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