Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels on Monday launched two attacks on U.S. and European military targets, officials said.
In the first attack, the Somali army says it repelled an attempt by Shabab to storm the Belidogle military airstrip, which hosts Somali and U.S. forces. The attack took the form of double suicide bombings followed by heavy gunfire across the air base in the Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia, said Gen. Ahmed Yusuf, a senior Somali military officer based the region.
Shabab claimed the responsibility for the attack.
The U.S. military uses the Belidogle airstrip to launch drones that attack Shabab targets.The base is also used to train Somali troops.
The second attack was by a suicide car bomber targeting Italian peacekeepers in Mogadishu. The explosion missed a convoy of the European Union peacekeepers but injured Somali civilians who were nearby, according to reports.