The Somali Islamist militant group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for a car bomb that killed at least seven people outside Mogadishu International Airport on Thursday.
"We targeted a UN convoy," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab's military operation spokesman, told Reuters, adding that a suicide bomber had carried out the attack.
Musab said "three UN white men" — a reference to foreigners — were killed in the blast along with 13 Somali soldiers who were guarding them. Police said at least seven people died in the blast while another 15 were wounded. A UN official said no UN staff were killed or injured.
"A car laden with explosives was remotely exploded in front of a tea shop just outside the airport," senior police officer Colonel Abdikadir Ahmed told Reuters.
Ahmed Omar, a member of airport staff, said a deafening blast rang out near the airport and then the "sky was covered with smoke."
Although Al Shabaab were pushed out of Mogadishu in 2011 by African Union peacekeeping troops, they have carried out several bombings in Mogadishu targeting government officials and foreign nationals.