Five killed in Somalia car bomb attack

Mogadishu, Feb 13: At least five people were killed and seven others were wounded when a car bomb exploded outside the main gate of the airport in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, police said Thursday.

“The car bomb went off as another vehicle was moving to the airport. Five people, including at least one airport guard, were killed and seven other people, mostly civilians, were injured,” police officer Mohamoud Omar at the airport told Xinhua.

Local media reports put the number of the dead between five and seven while hospital officials say the death toll may rise due to the severity of injuries.

The militant Islamist Al Shabaab movement claimed responsibility for the attack. The group said the target of the attack was “Western officials”, a claim that cannot be independently confirmed.

The Al Shabaab group has recently increased its attacks on Somali government targets and African Union peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The militant fighters launched twin attacks Monday in Mogadishu killing two people and injuring six others.

The upsurge in attacks come as Somali government forces and AMISOM troops prepare for a major offensive to oust the rebels out of the area they still control in the south and centre of the Horn of Africa nation.