Al-Shabaab blasts kill at last eight in Somalia, 10 in Kenya

Al-Shabaab blasts kill at last eight in Somalia, 10 in Kenya
The Al-Shabaab extremist group staged a series of bombings in the Somali capital Mogadishu and on the border with Kenya on Saturday, killing at least 18 people.
2 min read
15 June, 2019
Twin car bombs hit the Somali capital Mogadishu [Twitter]

A pair of explosions hit Somali's capital Mogadishu on Saturday, killing at least eight people, medical sources said.

Another 16 people were wounded in the twin blasts, some of them seriously, Aamin ambulance service chief Dr. Abdiqadir Aden told The Associated Press.

Extremist group al-Shabaab, routinely responsible for high-profile bombings in the capital, swiftly claimed the attacks.

The explosions were meant to target the first line of security checkpoints for the airport and the presidential palace, al-Shabaab said.

The presidential palace is a frequent al-Shabab target and the airport is home to a number of diplomatic offices.

The al-Qaeda linked group, which opposes Somalia's federal government and wants to impose sharia law, is considered by many to be the deadliest extremist group in Africa.

It has carried out attacks in East Africa beyond its base in Somalia, including in neighbouring Kenya, despite having been ousted from its bases in Mogadishu in 2011.

A roadside bomb hit a police vehicle patrolling along the Kenyan-Somali border on Saturday, killing at least 10 police officers according to Al-Jazeera.

The blast was also claimed by al-Shabaab, who kidnapped three Kenyan police officers in the same border area on Friday.

The Kenyan military has occupied a border zone of southern Somalia with the aid of an allied Somali militia since 2011, when it helped to rout al-Shabaab militants from the area after a number of kidnappings by the group in Kenya.

The US has ramped up airstrikes against the group in Somalia last year, but a US general said earlier this year that airstrikes alone would not be enough to defeat the group.