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Peacekeepers’ base attacked in Somali

Peacekeepers’ base attacked in SomaliAt least seven people were found dead after two bomb attacks near the main entrance of the airport in Mogadishu, Somali police have said.

A base for African Union (AU) peacekeepers, which is situated not far from the airport, is believed to be the main target.

The first attacker detonated a car bomb and the second tried to storm the base on foot, but was shot and exploded at the gate, officers added. Those killed could include security guards at the checkpoint.

Al Shabaab, the Islamist militant group which is allied to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had killed more than 12 people. The group has carried out frequent attacks in Somalia, including in Mogadishu, in an attempt to topple the UN-backed government.

The number of attacks had increased ahead of planned elections in Somalia. Hotels have been attacked by car bombs and then armed assault teams over the past few weeks.

The large airport area in Mogadishu is a secure "green zone" for UN operations, the AU peacekeeping force and foreign embassies.

The Somali government, with the help of African Union forces, is fighting al-Shabab militants in several parts of the country.
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