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Terror Strikes Again: Suicide Bombers Rock Mogadishu Airport

A suicide bomber tried to drive a car packed with explosives through a Somali security checkpoint and then detonated the explosives causing casualties

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Map of Somalia. Image source: VOA
  • The entrance targeted in the bombing is regularly used by employees who work at the airport
  • Residents in the area also reported hearing two massive simultaneous explosions just around 9 a.m. local time
  • The security source said casualties are expected among Somali security forces, AU and private security guards

Two suspected Al-Shabab car bombs exploded outside the main entrance of Mogadishu’s airport early Tuesday, July 26, during morning rush hour, said security officials of Somalia.

Somalia’s Interior security ministry said on Twitter that there were twin explosions, but did not give casualty figures.

The entrance targeted in the bombing is regularly used by employees who work at the airport.

Residents in the area also reported hearing two massive simultaneous explosions just around 9 a.m. local time.

Mogadishu Airport. Image source: www.somaliareport.com
Mogadishu Airport. Image source: www.somaliareport.com

According to reports from the residents, a suicide bomber tried to drive a car packed with explosives through a Somali security checkpoint and then detonated the explosives causing casualties.

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Seconds later another car arrived and this time, the suicide bomber detonated the car close to security forces and nearby African Union forces.

A security source told VOA that private security guards charged with protecting United Nations personnel outside the AU compound were also at the checkpoint at the time of the attack.

The security source said casualties are expected among Somali security forces, AU and private security guards.

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It’s not yet known if any UN officials were preparing to leave the airport at the time of the attack. The private security detail escorts UN officials and vehicles outside the airport perimeter.

Security sources say attackers did not breach the perimeter of the airport which partially hosts the main Headquarters of the AU as well as foreign embassies. (VOA)

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Deputy Leader of IS Group in Somalia Killed in Airstrike

Gallan said the strike hit the vehicle Dhoqob and another passenger were travelling in

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islamic state, airstrike
FILE - U.S. Air Force officer passes in front of a MQ-9 Reaper drone, one of a squadron that has arrived to step up the fight against the Taliban, at the Kandahar air base, Afghanistan, Jan. 23, 2018. VOA

Fadumo Yasin contributed to this report from Bosaso in Puntland.

The deputy leader of the Islamic State group in Somalia has been killed in an airstrike, a Somali regional minister told VOA.

Abdisamad Mohamed Gallan, security Minister of the Puntland region, told VOA Somali the airstrike that killed Abdihakim Mohamed Ibrahim, known as Dhoqob, took place Sunday between the villages of Hol Anod and Hiriro.

Gallan said the strike hit the vehicle Dhoqob and another passenger were travelling in. He said both men were killed but the other person has not yet been identified.

airstrike, IS
IS has 200-300 men in Somalia according to experts. Al-Shabab and IS have recently been fighting in the eastern mountainous areas since December last year. VOA

“The vehicle was burned,” said a witness who didn’t want to be named.

IS Somalia is led by Sheikh Abdulkadir Mumin, a former scholar for al-Shabab. In October 2015 he defected from the group and pledged his allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Dhoqob was Mumin’s right-hand-man and has appeared in videos produced by the group. Mumin himself survived another airstrike in his mountainous hideout in Bari region in November 2017.

“Killing one of their top leaders will speed up their eradication,” Gallan said.

airstrike, IS
Gallan said the strike hit the vehicle Dhoqob and another passenger were travelling in. VOA

Puntland officials have not commented on who carried out the attack but the U.S. military in Africa has been conducting relentless strikes against militants in Somalia. This year alone, U.S. has carried out more than 30 airstrikes, all of them against al-Shabab.

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IS has 200-300 men in Somalia according to experts. Al-Shabab and IS have recently been fighting in the eastern mountainous areas since December last year.

Al-Shabab has vowed to eliminate its rival IS, accusing it of “dividing the jihadists.” Security officials told VOA Somali that IS has lost some of its territory to al-Shabab. (VOA)