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Explosion rocks Ugandan base

MOGADISHU, Sept 17 – Explosions ripped through a compound used by Ugandan peacekeepers in Somalia’s restive capital Mogadishu on Thursday, killing at least two people, witnesses said.

Hardline Islamist Shebab rebels said they had carried out a twin suicide attack on the compound located at the airport in the south of the capital Mogadishu.

Witnesses said two vehicles with United Nations markings exploded in the attack.

"We have carried out two holy attacks against the enemy and both missions were successful," a senior Shebab official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "The enemy suffered badly and we are very happy."

A witness, Ali Mohamed, said he had seen two bodies brought from the area, adding that they appeared to be Somalis.

He said one blast hit an area of the base where the peacekeeping force was providing medical services to locals.

The troops, members of the African Union peacekeeping force, took up positions near the entrance to the base and fired into the air after the blast, according to another witness, Irbahim Aden.

Hardline Islamist militants seeking to overthrow the weak transitional government have repeatedly targeted the 5,000-strong peacekeeping force, made up of troops from Uganda and Burundi.

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