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Three Somalis killed in attack on UN convoy in capital - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Foreign security officers inspect wreckage at the scene of a suicide car bomb attack that targeted a United Nations convoy, outside the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, on December 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

Foreign security officers inspect wreckage at the scene of a suicide car bomb attack that targeted a United Nations convoy, outside the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, on December 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

Mogadishu, Reuters—At least three Somali security personnel were killed when a car bomb targeting a United Nations convoy exploded near the airport in the Somali capital, police said.

The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Our Mujahideen [fighters] based in Mogadishu have today targeted a convoy of foreign mercenaries and their apostate allies nearby the airport,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, said.

“The UN convoy was passing outside the airport. Three people died including a policeman and two Somalis who were bodyguards of the UN,” Ahmed Nur, a senior police officer told Reuters. He said 10 people were injured.

Aleem Siddique, a spokesman for UN’s Somalia mission, said no UN staff were killed during the attack.

The airport has a tight security cordon and blast walls, and is used as a base for UN operations in Somalia. The airport area is also the home to the British and Italian embassies.

A security adviser at the airport told Reuters four members of DUGUF, a private security firm, were killed in the blast.

International delegations visiting Mogadishu frequently travel with local security firms which place pick up trucks at the front and back of a convoy, each with about 10 security men armed with AK-47 rifles.

African Union forces along with the Somali army launched a new offensive this year against Al-Shabaab, which is fighting to impose its harsh interpretation of Islamic law on Somalia.

Driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, Al-Shabaab has lost control of several towns in the latest offensive, but officials say the Islamists still control tracts of countryside and settlements from where they have launched their guerrilla-style campaign.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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