Somalia suicide bombings kill peacekeepers in revenge for US raid

The deputy head of the peacekeeping force in Somalia died when Islamists carried out twin suicide bombings in revenge for US helicopter strikes which killed an al-Qaeda suspect this week. Terrorists from the jihadist Al-Shabaab movement drove four-wheel-drive vehicles with fake United Nations markings into the African Union contingent's headquarters in Mogadishu.

Guards failed to recognise the threat and waved the cars through as they tailed a convoy of high-level officials arriving for a meeting. Maj Gen Juvenal Niyonguruza, the force's second-in-command from Burundi, and four others were killed by the four suicide bombers.

Fifteen wounded soldiers were airlifted to Nairobi and Kampala. The force commander, Uganda's Lt Col Nathan Mugisha, was lightly injured.

Hawa Hussein, who lives close to the AU's headquarters, said that her house "trembled' from the explosion on Thursday morning.

The attack came three days after US Special Operations troops mounted a daring helicopter raid to kill a key al-Qaeda suspect wanted in connection with terror attacks in neighbouring Kenya in 2002.

A senior al-Shabaab commander who gave his name as Abu Muhsin said the attack was in revenge for the American raid, which killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan.

"We have reached our ambition for that holy explosion [which] struck a hall where Nato, US, AU and so-called government officials were holding a meeting to attack our Mujahidiin after Ramadan," he said.

"We've reached our holy goal to revenge what the Christians did."


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