Somali Shabab suicide attack on UN convoy kills four

Somalia's Al Qaeda-affiliated Shabab rebels issued a statement saying their fighters had 'targeted a convoy of foreign mercenaries and their apostate allies'.

MOGADISHU // Four people were killed and nine wounded in Somalia’s capital when a suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a UN convoy on Wednesday.

Somalia’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Shabab rebels, who are fighting to overthrow the country’s internationally-backed government, said their fighters had “targeted a convoy of foreign mercenaries and their apostate allies”.

No UN staff were killed or injured but the attack damaged two UN vehicles travelling in a four-vehicle convoy, said its spokesman Aleem Siddique.

The convoy of armoured vehicles were ferrying staff between Mogadishu’s heavily-fortified airport and a protected UN base in the city when it was hit close to the airport gate.

UN convoys are systematically flanked by pickup trucks carrying private security officers who provide protection for international staff.

“The bomber drove in between the security escort and the UN armoured vehicles and detonated the car, ramming into one of the escort vehicles,” police officer Mohamed Liban said.

Mr Liban counted four bodies, all Somali nationals either providing security for the UN or those passing by who had been caught by the blast. Police said nine others were wounded.

The attack appeared to be a repeat of another Shabab operation in February, when six people – Somali guards, passers-by and shop owners – were killed in a suicide attack on a convoy carrying UN staff near the airport.

* Agence France-Presse and Associated Press

Published: December 3, 2014 04:00 AM

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