Somalia car bomb targets African Union convoy

Al-Shabab says seven killed in suicide attack near checkpoint on road linking capital Mogadishu and the town of Afgoye.

    A convoy of the African Union's (AU) AMISOM force has been targeted by a car bomb just outside the Somali capital, witnesses and a Somali army source have said, though it was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.

    A spokesman for al-Shabab told the AFP news agency that the group carried out Monday's attack, saying it killed seven people, including three foreigners.

    The attack took place near a checkpoint on the road linking Mogadishu and the town of Afgoye, "where a suicide bomber rammed his car into an AMISOM convoy," witness Abdulahi Mohamed said.

    "There was a heavy explosion at the Alamada area ... we don't know about the casualties but I saw military ambulances rushing to the scene."

    A Somali military official, Omar Adan, confirmed the attack, but declined to give the number of casualties. He however blamed al-Shabab fighters.

    "Al-Qaeda linked militants, who have lost ground, are attempting desperate attacks," Adan said.

    Regular deadly attacks

    On Saturday, a car bomb went off in central Mogadishu near a hotel popular with government officials and businessmen, injuring at least one person, though no claims were made for the attack.

    In February alone, major attacks in the capital have included a car bomb at the gates of the airport, a suicide attack on the presidential palace and a car bombing on a cafe close to the intelligence headquarters, AFp reports.

    Al-Shabab fighters once controlled most of southern and central Somalia, but withdrew from fixed positions in Mogadishu two years ago.

    However, the group stages regular deadly attacks in the capital, and also claimed responsibility for last year's attack in neighbouring Kenya, when fighters stormed the upmarket Westgate mall, shooting shoppers and hurling grenades.

    Government and AU troops have also come under repeated hit-and-run attacks in rural areas surrounding the settlements they have captured from al-Shabab.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.