Somalia: Car bomb blast hits near Mogadishu airport
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A huge explosion was heard around the heavily fortified Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport vicinity on Monday morning, the latest in a series of assaults in the seaside capital, Garowe Online reports.
A witness, who asked not to be named, has confirmed to GO that the blast took place near a security checkpoint a few metres from the main entrance of Jazeera Palace hotel and followed by a heavy gunfire.
Reports said the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) fitted into a Taxi, which exploded close to eastern side gate of the hotel, while driving on the road to Mogadishu's airport, killing the driver.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though Al shabaab has launched a wave of attacks in Mogadishu, in an attempt to topple the UN-backed Somali Federal government.
A large white plume of smoke was visible in the air as ambulances rushed to the scene and transported the wounded to hospital to receive medical treatment, according to the eyewitness.
GO reporter in Mogadishu said Somali security forces have sealed off the route into the airport, and began an investigation.
The Jazeera Palace hotel houses Somali MPs, Ministers, and several diplomatic missions. It is close to the international airport, where the United Nations, Western diplomatic missions and AMISOM, the African Union force in Somalia, are located.