Friday April 6, 2018
Somali cleaners clear the road after a car bomb detonated near a checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somalia, Friday, April 6, 2018, after a pair of suicide car bombings in the capital. AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh
Three Al-Shabaab attackers and a soldier died when two car bombs exploded on Friday in the Somali capital Mogadishu, including one that blew up on the key road to the airport, a security official and witnesses said.
In the first blast, a minibus packed with explosives detonated at the checkpoint on the airport highway, wounding two soldiers.
“The security forces suspected a man who was driving a minibus at the main airport checkpoint. When he was asked to identify himself, he tried to drive off fast but he was shot and the vehicle blew up. The bomber died and two soldiers were wounded in the blast,” said security official Mohamed Ali.
A few minutes later two gunmen in a car loaded with explosives were stopped at a checkpoint along a key road out of the city.
Witnesses said the gunmen exchanged fire with soldiers, one of whom was killed.
“There were two armed men disguised as Somali soldiers driving the car. They tried to force their way through the checkpoint, but the security forces exchanged heavy fire with them, the two gunmen were shot and the vehicle exploded. There were no civilian casualties,” said a grocer, Abdiqani Mohamed, whose store is close to the checkpoint.
He said he saw the corpse of one soldier, which was confirmed by several other eyewitnesses.
The Shaabab, linked to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement.