At least 13 people are killed in an attack perpetrated by radical Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabab in Mogadishu, Somalia. Two trucks laden with explosives were driven towards a base of African Union troops and were detonated.
According to officials and witnesses, the first blast happened near the base’s entrance beside the capital’s main airport. The second blast occurred at a checkpoint manned by Somali government forces.
Al-Jazeera reported that white smoke could be seen billowing from the city from the blast that occurred on Tuesday. Abdifatah Omar Halane, a spokesman for the local government revealed that a total of thirteen people died in the two vehicular blasts.
Among those killed were nine UN Peacekeepers and three civilians with details regarding the 13th fatality still unknown. A journalist on the scene reported seeing ambulances ferrying the wounded to hospitals.
Al-Shabab released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. In their statement, they revealed that they targeted the area which was housing foreign troops that were occupying their country.
According to the BBC, the African Union mission in Somalia condemned the attacks. In a statement, they called the attacks senseless and aim to disrupt and cripple the lives of ordinary Somalis.
Al-Shabab has carried out multiple attacks in Somalia, including the capital in an effort to oust the UN-backed government. Hotels in the country have been the target of bombings as well as armed assaults.
Somali government troops, as well as African Union forces, have been battling the terrorists in several parts of the country. The airport area in Mogadishu, Somalia has been a secure “green zone” for UN and AU forces as well as foreign embassies.
Despite being pushed from the towns they once held, analysts still believe the group to be a potent threat. Al-Shabab was responsible for the attack on Kenya’s Garissa University which killed 147 people.