Somalia’s al-Shabaab rebels claim deadly twin car bombings

A car packed with explosives hit an armored truck outside the capital Mogadishu

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Somalia’s al-Shabaab Islamist group claimed responsibility for two deadly car bomb attacks Monday targeting African peacekeepers and a government convoy, the first such strikes by the group since it vowed revenge for the killing of its leader last week.

“We are behind the two car bombs driven by mujahideen [fighters],” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, spokesman for al-Shabaab's military operations, told Reuters after the attacks.

At least 12 civilians were killed in the first blast that aimed at a convoy of African troops and hit nearby civilian vehicles

The explosions that went off within an hour of each other on a road southwest of Mogadishu struck a convoy of African Union (AU) troops and a convoy of Somali police and national security personnel. Civilian buses near the first bombing were also hit.

Abdikadir Mohamed Sidi, the governor of the Lower Shabelle region south of Mogadishu, who had been following the AU convoy, reported seeing three civilian vehicles in the area of the first blast.

The governor added that over two dozen others, including two AU soldiers, were wounded in that first blast.

He told Reuters that the suicide blast injured two AMISOM forces as well as two people from Bankroft .

He said 28 people were also wounded when a convoy of AMISOM forces around Hawa Abdi village was targeted by suicide bombers.

The rebels, meanwhile, claimed four Americans and a South American were among those killed. There was no official confirmation.

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