Islamist Militants Claim Blasts Near Somali Airport; 13 Dead

Islamist militants said they conducted twin car bombings near the airport and international missions in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, leaving at least 13 people dead.

An explosives-laden vehicle detonated near the gates of the African Union Mission in Somalia compound, while another car bomb struck close to a United Nations facility, police commander Bishar Abshir Gedi told reporters Tuesday near one of the blast-sites. Thirteen people were killed and five wounded, he said.

Abdulaziz Abu Musab, a spokesman for the al-Shabaab militant group, said the UN and African Union facilities were its targets. He said 27 soldiers were killed, in a statement to Radio Andalus, a broadcaster that supports its insurgency.

The African Union mission’s spokesman, Joe Kibet, said a car bomb exploded as it approached its compound, causing no injuries to Amisom personnel. Al-Shabaab, which has links with al-Qaeda, has waged an insurgency in the Horn of Africa nation since 2006 in a bid to impose a strict version of Islamic law.

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