A car bomb killed seven people in a terrorist attack near the gated entrance to a fortified international airport in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Feb. 13.
Witnesses told the BBC that the seven victims were passing by the scene as the bomb exploded. In addition to the dead, Somali police say at least 15 people were injured in the attack and several cars were burned.
Al-Qaeda inspired terrorist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack aimed at a UN convoy. A UN spokesperson confirmed that no UN personnel were killed in the attack but four security escorts travelling with the convoy suffered minor injuries.
The airport in Mogadishu is heavily guarded and fortified because of dismal security in the country. The compound is used as a base for diplomats and international organizations including the UN as the danger to foreigners outside the complex is too great.
The airport also serves as headquarters for an African Union peacekeeping mission tasked with helping the Somali government fight armed groups like Al-Shabaab.
This latest attack underlines the significant security challenges in Somalia.
Armed groups, like Al-Shabaab, are able to conduct operations across the country and attack at will. BBC is reporting that Mogadishu residents have witnessed an increase in mortar and gunfire attacks on Somali army bases around the city.
The government of Somalia is trying to restore order to the country after more than two decades of civil strife since the fall of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
- Visit the United Nations Mission in Somalia’s webpage for the latest from the UN on the attack
- Read an in-dept report on the conflict in Somalia by the Centre for Justice and Accountability