At least eight people have been killed in bomb blasts at the main airport in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, witnesses have said.
The victims in Thursday’s blasts included African Union (AU) peacekeeping troops.
Witnesses said a suicide bomber rammed a car into an AU peacekeepers post outside the airport and that they heard a second explosion inside the compound shortly afterwards.
A spokesman with the African Union confirmed the car bomb attack.
Mohamed Abdi, a shopkeeper, told Reuters news agency: “I have seen four bleeding AU soldiers being carried at the gate. At least eight dead bodies, most of them Amisom soldiers were lying on the ground.”
Two women begging in the street were also killed and one policeman was wounded, said Abdul Rahman Yussef, a Somali army official.
Somalia’s interim government warned on Wednesday that it expected a surge in violence as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan draws to a close.
The anti-government group al-Shabab in August declared a “massive, final” war against what it called “invaders”, an apparent reference to the 6,000 African Union troops deployed in the country to support government forces.
Fighters attacked army barracks in several districts of Mogadishu following the announcement and dozens were killed.
Hundreds of new peacekeepers, mostly Ugandan, have arrived in recent weeks to help the government in its battle against al-Shabab.
The force has so far been able to do little more than guard the airport and port and shield Sharif Ahmed, the president.