In the latest attack on the Somali capital by al Qaeda-inked rebels, two African Union peacekeepers and a number of civilians were killed at Mogadishu’s airport on Thursday.
The suicide bombers were dressed in government combat uniforms. Two vehicles approached the airport’s main gate, and one vehicle exploded killing the peacekeepers.
Two militants from the other car ran past the next line of defense and blew themselves up 200 meters from the terminal building.
The government said three civilians died in the attack. The African Union said the three attackers were also killed, although the full extent of the casualties was not yet clear.
The rebels have used suicide bombers to devastating effect over the past two years, killing five government ministers and dozens of AU peacekeeping troops.
Al Shabaab insurgents stepped up their fight to topple the Western-backed administration last month. On Wednesday, the government warned on Wednesday that it expected a spectacular attack to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Al Shabaab was also behind attacks in Uganda in July that killed at least 79 people.
The attack came shortly after the U.N. envoy to Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, flew from the airport to Kenya following meetings with President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.