The al-Shabaab extremist group claimed responsibility on Monday for two attacks on US and European military targets, officials said.
In the first attack, the Somali army said it repelled an attempt by al-Shabaab to storm Belidogle military airstrip which hosts Somali and US forces.
The attack with double suicide bombings which were 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 in Lower Shabelle region.
“Two suicide car bombs from the Middle Shabelle region tried to attack Balidogle airport but they detonated outside the airport gate,” Major Abdullahi Nur, a police officer, told Reuters.
The US military uses the Belidogle airstrip base to launch drones that attack al-Shabaab targets and to train Somali troops.
The second attack was by a suicide car bomber targeting Italian peacekeepers in Mogadishu.
Italy’s defense ministry said in a statement that an Italian military convoy had been hit by an explosion. No injuries had been reported so far, the defense ministry said.
The explosion missed a convoy of the European Union peacekeepers but injured Somali civilians who were nearby, according to reports.