MOGADISHU, Somalia – A Somali police officer says a suicide car bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at a security checkpoint near Mogadishu's international airport, killing at least three people.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein says the car bomber detonated the bomb Monday as security forces were searching cars at the checkpoint, few hundred meters (yards) from the main base of the African Union mission.
The checkpoint is close to United Nations offices and the Peace Hotel, which is often frequented by foreigners and officials. The powerful blast blew roofs off nearby buildings.
A second blast and heavy gunfire could also be heard at the checkpoint after the attack, but there were no immediate details.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. However, the al-Qaida linked Islamic extremist group al-Shabab often carries out such attacks.
Despite being ousted from most of its key strongholds across large parts of south and central Somalia, the group continues to wage deadly attack across the country.
Somalia's capital has seen frequent bomb attacks at hotels and military checkpoints. The assaults have threatened this Horn of Africa nation's attempts to rebuild from decades of chaos. The country's presidential election, a key step toward recovery, already has been delayed multiple times because of security and other concerns.