Suicide bomber kills five in Somalia

Mohamed Odowa and Ergin Hava
·1-min read

A suicide bomber has killed at least five people in Somalia in an attack that authorities say targeted Turkish nationals in the country.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca says two Turkish nationals were killed in the attack on Saturday.

Three more Turkish citizens were among the 14 wounded. All of the wounded are undergoing treatment in Mogadishu. None of them are in a critical condition, the minister added.

Somali officials did not initially report any Turkish casualties, reporting only Somali deaths and the fact that one Turkish national was wounded.

"Among the deaths are the suicide bomber, a civilian and two Somali security forces," said senior Somali police officer Ali Hassan.

The blast hit a construction site along the road between the capital Mogadishu and the Afgoye district. Turkish engineers and construction workers were working on a road construction project.

The attack, claimed by the al-Shabaab terrorist group, specifically targeted Turkish citizens in Somalia, police said.

Al-Shabaab also claims to have killed at least one Turkish national, but Somali officials refuted this.

Turkey is supporting the Somali army with training and equipment. Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militia, considers Turkey an invader in the East African nation.

Saturday's attack came hours after Somali government spokesperson Ismael Mukhtar Omar announced an airstrike on one of al-Shabaab's radio studios in the village of Kuunyabarow, in the southern Lower Shabelle province.

The spokesperson refused to comment on whether the Somali government had coordinated the airstrike with its US counterparts.

Despite reports of damage, no casualties were recorded.