Suicide bombers killed at least 13 people at the gates of the African Union’s main peacekeeping base in the Somali capital on Tuesday, police said, in an attack claimed by the Islamist militants of al Shabaab.
The force of the bombings shattered windows at Mogadishu’s nearby airport, showered arriving passengers with glass and forced the suspension of flights, police and witnesses said.
The United States condemned the attack on the AMISOM peacekeeping force’s base, the latest by the militant group that wants to topple Somalia’s western-backed government and rule the Horn of Africa country according to sharia law.
“At least 13 people – mostly security forces – died in the two car bomb blasts,” and 12 others were wounded, police officer Abdiqadir Omar told Reuters. Al Shabaab, which is linked to al Qaeda, said it set off two car bombs.
Police said the first attacker detonated a car bomb and the second tried to storm the base on foot, but was shot and exploded at the gate. The guards were caught in the blast as they escorted U.N. personnel into the base, known as Halane.
In a statement, White House spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. stood with Somalia in its fight against “despicable acts of terrorism that seek to destabilize” the country.
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