Killed in Mogadishu Blasts

A wounded civilian arrives for medical treatment at the Madina Hospital

Twin auto bombs killed 18 people in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Friday in an attack by the Islamist militant group al Shabaab, but security forces shot dead five assailants, officials said.

The first blast, followed by gunfire, occurred at a checkpoint close to Villa Somalia, the name for the seat of government, while a second followed soon after at a hotel.

The first vehicle bomb exploded near the Somalia presidential palace followed by a gun battle between security forces and terrorist al-Shabaab attackers, according to state media.

The director of Aamin Ambulance service, Abdirahman Abdulqadir, said that 18 people were killed and another 20 were injured people after the blasts.

In October, more than 500 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a truck full of explosives in the capital.

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Extremist group al Shabab claimed responsibility for the blasts via its Andalus radio arm. The bomb attacks were the deadliest since al Shabaab began an insurgency in 2007. Jihadist rebels claimed the attack.

This is the latest terrorist attack in Mogadishu in the past few months.

On Thursday the head of the AU force, Francisco Madeira, said ending the pullout before 2021 "could bring about a serious risk of reversals that could derail the gains already made".

The U.S. carried out more than 30 drone strikes previous year in the Horn of Africa nation after President Donald Trump approved expanded military efforts against al-Shabab.

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