Suicide blasts target Somalia peacekeepers
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Last Updated: Thursday, September 17, 2009, 18:44
Mogadishu: Two powerful explosions ripped through a Ugandan peacekeepers' compound at Mogadishu airport on Thursday, killing at least two people in a twin suicide attack claimed by hardline Somali rebels.

The Islamist Shebab rebels, who have vowed to avenge the US raid that killed one of their leaders this week, said they had carried out the attacks on the base used by the Ugandan contingent of the African Union peacekeeping force.

Western military sources and witnesses said two vehicles with United Nations markings were used in the attack.

"We have carried out two holy attacks against the enemy and both missions were successful," a senior Shebab official said to a news agency on condition of anonymity. "The enemy suffered badly and we are very happy."

A witness, Ali Mohamed, said he had seen two bodies brought from the area, adding that they appeared to be Somalis. There were no other immediate reports of casualties. Mohamed said one blast hit an area of the base where the peacekeeping force was providing medical services to locals.

Soldiers took up positions near the entrance to the base and fired into the air after the explosions, according to another witness, Irbahim Aden.

Hardline Islamist militants seeking to overthrow the weak transitional government have repeatedly targeted the 5,000-strong peacekeeping force, made up of troops from Uganda and Burundi.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, September 17, 2009, 18:44

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