A suicide bombing near the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday killed five people including two Turks, Turkish and Somali officials said.
The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack in a post by its Shahada News Agency. The Somalia-based group often targets Mogadishu with suicide bombings and other attacks, and it has exploded bombs against the Turkish military and other targets there in the past.
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Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that 14 people, including three Turks, were wounded and are being treated in a Mogadishu hospital named after Turkey’s president.
“We strongly condemn this heinous attack targeting the employees of a Turkish company that undertook the Mogadishu-Afgoye road construction and contributes to the development and prosperity of Somalia,” a foreign ministry statement said.
The three others killed were Somali policemen, police Capt. Ahmed Mohamed said.
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Turkish security sources said the suicide attacker used a motorcycle. They said the attack took place 15 kilometres (8 miles) from a Turkish military base, which was not affected. The base is Turkey’s largest military installation abroad.
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This is the second time the road project has been attacked by al-Shabab. In January last year, a vehicle filled with explosives exploded at the entrance, killing and wounding dozens of people, including several Turkish citizens.
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The attack led to a pause in the project, which recommenced a few months ago after security was improved.
Separately on Saturday, the U.S. military said it had carried out two airstrikes against al-Shabab compounds near Qunya Barrow on Friday, the first such strikes of the year after more than 50 last year. A U.S. statement said both compounds were destroyed.
Hassan Barise in Mogadishu, Somalia contributed.
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