At least three people were killed after a suicide bomber detonated explosives from inside a car at a security checkpoint near Mogadishu’s international airport (file photo) on Monday, AP reported. The news agency quoted Captain Mohamed Hussein, who said the explosive device was detonated a few hundred meters from the African Union peacekeeping mission. Extremist group Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The site of the blast is also in the vicinity of several United Nations offices and the Peace Hotel, which is frequented by foreign nationals. Reports said a second blast and heavy gunfire were heard immediately after the first blast.

The militant group has staged several attacks across Somalia despite being ousted from its strongholds in the country. The group wants Somalia to strictly follow the Shariah law and opposes the presence of peacekeepers from the United Nations. The group has carried out similar attacks in the past against the UN-backed Somali government.