Bomb blast strikes Somalia airport

Latest bomb targeting Somalia’s civilian aviation explodes during security screening and wounds six people.

Members of the Somali military perform a defensive drill after attending a commando training exercise at the United Arab Emirates military training camp in Mogadishu
Somalia's military and AU forces have battled the armed group al-Shabab for years [Feisal Omar/Reuters]

Six people were wounded when a bomb planted inside a notebook computer exploded at an airport in Somalia on Monday, the second such attack in recent weeks targeting civilian aviation in the country.

The bomb detonated at a checkpoint in the small central town of Beledweyne, about 325km north of the capital Mogadishu, where last month al-Shabab fighters claimed responsibility for a blast that tore a gaping hole in a passenger plane shortly after takeoff.

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“A laptop computer went off at the screening area, and the security forces have also managed to defuse two other explosive devices, one of them planted in a printer,” police Lieutenant-Colonel Ali Dhuh Abdi told reporters.

“Six people were wounded, two of them policemen.”

The blast on Monday took place where security screening is carried out before cargo and passenger luggage are loaded on to planes.

The security checkpoint was manned by African Union troops from Djibouti, as well as Somali government security forces.

No immediate claim of responsibility for the attack was made.

On February 2, a blast punched a one-metre-sized hole in the side of an Airbus A321 about 15 minutes after it had taken off from Mogadishu heading for Djibouti. The suspected bomber is believed to have died after being sucked out of the aircraft, which managed to turn around and land safely.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility saying the bomb targeted Western officials and Turkish NATO forces thought to be on the flight.

The armed group – fighting to overthrow Somalia’s government and establish a state based on its interpretation of Islamic law – said the operation was “retribution for the crimes committed by the coalition of Western crusaders and their intelligence agencies against the Muslims of Somalia”.

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Source: AFP, Al Jazeera