Car bomb targets Turkish engineers outside Mogadishu

21Jan 2020
Mogadishu
The Guardian
Car bomb targets Turkish engineers outside Mogadishu

At least three people were killed and more than 20 others, including Turkish nationals, were wounded when a car bomb targeting foreign nationals exploded Saturday in the town of Afgoye, 30 kilometers outside of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two Somali officials confirmed the causalities to local media.According to Turkish news Agency Anadolu, the Turkish health minister said at least six Turkish nationals were injured in the attack, two of whom sustained serious injuries.The news agency said staffers of a Turkish construction firm were injured in the explosion.Afgoye residents say they heard a huge blast in the area followed by gunfire.Turkish engineers are working on road construction project. Two Turkish nationals, a foremen and a construction worker, were among more than 80 killed in late December in a bomb attack on a checkpoint near Mogadishu.

Saturday’s attack came hours after the Somali army said it had repelled several attacks carried out by al-ShabaAb militants in Qoryooley and Afgoye town overnight. Qoryooley is about 70 km south of Mogadishu.Al-Shabaab claimed it had killed four African Union troops and overrun a military base in Afgoye town, but a Somali official said only one Somali soldier was killed in Afgoye attack.

Meanwhile, six Somali government soldiers and 19 militants were killed when Islamist group Al-Shabaab attacked two bases before dawn Friday, according to officials and residents.

Local security officials and residents told VOA Somali that the attackers targeted a Somali government military base in Haji Ali village, near the Indian Ocean coastal town of Addale, in Middle Shabelle region.

Somali government forces at the base responded to the attack, sparking a deadly gun battle.

Local sources said five government soldiers were killed, including a military commander. The Somali National Army Headquarters, in a statement, put the death toll at four soldiers, with two others injured.

The statement said 15 Al-Shabab militants were killed and 26 were injured.

Al-Shabab said its fighters overran the base and seized weapons and vehicles.

Separately, one government soldier and four militants were killed in another Al-Shabaab attack Friday in the town of Hosingow, Lower Juba region.

Residents told VOA that the militants briefly entered a Somali military camp near the town. Troops launched a counterattack and retook the base, killing four militants and a soldier, residents say.

 

Meanwhile, the U.S. military has confirmed killing two Al-Shabaab militants in an airstrike near the town of Kunyo Barrow in Lower Shabelle region on Thursday. It is the second U.S. airstrike in Somalia in 2020.

Last year, U.S. Africa Command conducted a record 63 strikes in Somalia.

Al-Shabaab has conducted several high-profile attacks in recent weeks, including one on a Kenyan military base housing U.S. forces. The militants killed three Americans in the Jan. 5 attack.

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