MOGADISHU, Somalia — A suicide car bomber and gunmen attacked the front gate to Mogadishu's seaside airport on Thursday, triggering an explosion and gunbattle, officials said. At least seven people were killed, including six security force members.
The coordinated attack was the latest in a surge of assaults by Islamist insurgents, who last month declared a new, stepped-up effort to oust the country's weak government. The barrage took place about 40 minutes after Somalia's president flew out of the country.
After the car bomb exploded, a second vehicle full of militants opened fire at African Union and Somali security forces, said Osman Dahir, a police officer at the airport. He said there were several dead bodies of insurgents lying in front of the airport, but he didn't know how many.
Two soldiers with the African Union force and four Somali police officers were killed, said Maj. Barigye Bahoku, the spokesman for the AU force. One Somali civilian was also killed, he said.