Somalia car bombing near military base
3/3/2012 5:10:01 PM -
MOGADISHU (AFP) - A car bomb exploded on Saturday near a military base housing Burundian soldiers from an African Union peacekeeping force in the Somali capital Mogadishu, killing the driver, police said.
"The car exploded as it was closing on a base of Burundian peacekeepers. The driver was killed and two civilians nearby were slightly injured," said Mohamad Duale, a senior Somali police officer.
"We are still investigating where the attack was aiming, fortunately it did not hit any target," he told AFP.
Witnesses said the car slowed down as it approached the base.
"There were not many people around the area when the car exploded. I saw the severed body parts of the driver but we are not sure if he was a suicide bomber," said Ibrahim Ali, a witness.
"There was smoke and fire up in the air and the road was sealed off by Somali government soldiers after the explosion."
Extremist Al-Qaeda allied Shebab gunmen have been fighting to topple the weak Western-backed Somali government in Mogadishu, where the administration survives under the protection of the 10,000-strong AU force.
Somalia has had no effective government since 1991 and in recent years the Shebab rebels and other groups have taken an increasing hold on large parts of the country.
Most of the insurgents last year left fixed defences in Mogadishu and switched to guerrilla and suicide attacks. In early February a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people in a bar near the presidency.