MOGADISHU, Somalia – A suspected suicide bomber attacked a convoy of African Union peacekeepers in the Somali capital on Friday, killing at least two people near a United Nations base that was struck by a deadly blast in June, witnesses and officials said.
The bodies of two civilians were pulled out from shops destroyed by the explosion, a Reuters witness said. An official in the Mogadishu mayor's office confirmed two civilian dead, in addition to the suicide bomber.
One of the African Union force's vehicles was damaged by the blast which appeared to have been detonated by a bomber in a four-wheel drive car.
"A suicide car bomb targeted a convoy of the African Union force near the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) base. We do not know if there are any casualties yet," Mohamed Aden, a senior intelligence official told Reuters.
"We are still investigating. There was a public vehicle driving behind the convoy, there could be civilian casualties," he added.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility although Islamist al Shabaab militants, who were driven out of Mogadishu by African forces two years ago, had said they would keep up guerrilla-style attacks.
A plume of black smoke billowed into the sky above the city near the United Nations base which was the target of another attack on June 19 that killed 22 people.
Ambulance sirens wailed through the city's congested streets trying to reach any victims at the blast site where many shops made of iron sheets were destroyed, a Reuters witness said.