Mortar attacks kills, two wounds 10 in Somalia

SOMALIA - At least two people were killed and 10 others wounded when al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group, shelled overnight the bases of African Union and Somali forces in the Middle Shabelle region, a security official said.
The official in the Bal’ad town told Anadolu Agency over the phone that the mortar attack targeted Burundian peacekeepers serving under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia in the village of Biyo-Cade, located some 128 kilometers (79 miles) north of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
Those killed and injured, including a woman and her child, were relatives, the official said, adding that Biyo-Cade, a thickly populated village with abundant water resources, houses pastoralists who fled from the surrounding areas due to prolonged drought in the region.
“In terms of security, the Middle Shabelle region is one of the most isolated areas in the country and there are not many military activities against al-Shabaab in the region. The terror group took advantage of the situation and launched deadly attacks against the Somali and African Union troops,” the official said on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the shelling, saying it killed six Burundian peacekeepers and wounded four others. However, there is no immediate comment from the AU mission in Somalia.
The attack comes hours after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a security checkpoint near Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport, killing at least three people and wounding more than seven others.
Al-Shabaab also claimed responsibility for the attack that came ahead of Sunday’s long-delayed presidential election in the Horn of Africa nation.

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