Two deadly explosions have rocked an area outside the African Union (AU) peacekeeping base in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
According to Somali police, at least 13 people, including seven guards, were killed in the attack on Tuesday.
A bomber fist set off an explosives-laden car at the entrance of the AU base near the international airport in Mogadishu in the morning, police said.
A second bomber then tried to storm the base, but he was shot and detonated, police officers added.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying 12 people were killed in the assault.
Local media said there were nine UN peacekeepers and three AU soldiers among the victims.
“AU forces sealed the area. There were many Somalis outside the gate and there were AU forces at the gate,” said police officer Major Nur Osman.
Witnesses at the scene heard gunfire after the two explosions.
“At least 13 people were confirmed to have died in two explosions, one of the vehicles went off near a security checkpoint and another close to a UN compound,” said Bishaar Abdi Gedi, a police official, adding, “The security forces have managed to intercept the attackers and foiled the attacks.”
In a Twitter post, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) condemned the “senseless attacks that aim to disrupt and cripple the lives of ordinary Somalis.”
In 2011, al-Shabab was pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities by government troops and AMISOM forces, which are largely made up of troops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya.
However, the Takfiri terror group still carries out attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the country in recent years as they continue their campaign to topple the government.
Earlier this month, the militants killed at least 10 soldiers in a bomb attack against a military base south of Mogadishu.
On July 10, more than 100 al-Shabab terrorists raided a police station in northeast Kenya overnight, wounding one officer and making off with arms and ammunition