Somalia: Blast hits police checkpoint in Mogadishu


MOGADISHU, Somalia - At least one soldier was killed, two others were wounded in an explosion at an army checkpoint in Mogadishu, the latest in series of bombings in the troubled Somali capital, Garowe Online reports.

"A policeman died and two sustained injuries in a blast resulted from an IED planted near Ex-control Afgoye checkpoint west of Mogadishu on Tuesday afternoon," said a witness, who spoke to Garowe Online by phone.

The eyewitness, speaking on condition of anonymity added that the police customs checkpoint which lies on the main Mogadishu-Afgoye corridor was bustling with soldiers and civilians when the explosion occurred.

The Al-Qaeda-linked Somalia-based Al-Shabaab extremist group which is waging a decade-long insurgency to overthrow the internationally-backed government of Somalia claimed responsibility for Tuesday's bomb attack.

There has been an uptick in attacks in Mogadishu amidst tight security and heavy presence of police forces on the main streets in the city, searching public vehicles.

Early in the day, two civilians have been gunned down in separate areas in Mogadishu by unidentified assailants, highlighting the level of insecurity in the capital of the Horn of Africa country beset by conflict and terrorism.

The blast came just days after a leading academic, Prof Yahya Sheikh Amir has escaped death after a bomb fitted into car exploded at Dabka junction on the busy Makka Al Mukarama road. The explosion killed his brother.

In the past, Al-Shabaab carried out numerous car bombs and gun attacks in the vicinity of Villa Somalia, the heavily fortified Presidential Palace in Mogadishu that houses top government leaders, including the president and PM.

The weak Federal government in Mogadishu is being blamed for taking its eye off the fight against linked Islamist militants as it is currently in a political deadlock with the regional states over key issues, including a better share of the foreign aid.


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