Somalia blasts claim lives

At least 19 people were killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu in a series of bomb attacks and subsequent gun battles carried out by militants linked to al Qaeda.

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Hague 'strongly condemns' attacks in Somalia

Foreign Secretary William Hague said he "strongly condemns" the terrorist attacks that took place in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, killing at least 19 people.

Mr Hague said in a statement, “We extend our deepest sympathy to the victims and their families. Somalia is emerging from decades of conflict. The actions of terrorists only prolong the suffering of the Somali people".

Somali policemen take up position near the scene of a deadly blast in Mogadishu. Credit: REUTERS/Feisal Omar

“The UK and the international community, as we saw at last week’s G8 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, remain committed to helping the people of Somalia achieve peace, security and development", he continued.

"Those responsible for terrorist acts should face justice”, Mr Hague added.

At least 19 killed in militant attack in Somalia

At least 19 people have been killed in the Somali capital in a series of bomb attacks carried out by militants linked to al-Qaeda and in subsequent gun battles.

A Somali soldier runs near the scene of a deadly blast in Mogadishu Credit: REUTERS/Feisal Omar

A bomb exploded outside law courts in Mogadishu as gunmen stormed the compound. Security forces then arrived and battled the fighters inside.

Later, a bomb exploded near an African Union and Turkish Red Crescent convoy on the way to the airport.

A car goes up in flames near the scene of a blast Credit: REUTERS/Feisal Omar

The attack has been claimed by al Shabaab - a militant group linked to al-Qaeda.

Somali women walk past the site of a deadly blast Credit: REUTERS/Omar Faruk

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Second blast in Mogadishu after gunmen attack courts

A large blast has been heard in an area near the airport in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, just hours after a series of explosions at law courts in the capital and gunmen stormed the building, residents said.

The blast in the courts earlier in Mogadishu. Credit: RTV

"We heard a blast ... and then soldiers opened fire. I see only thick smoke rising into the sky. I do not know what caused the blast. The whole area has been immediately besieged by security forces," one resident, Halima Osman, told Reuters.

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