Laptop Bomb Explodes at Somali Airport


Six people have been injured in a laptop bomb explosion at an airport in Somalia – the second attack targeting passenger planes in recent weeks.

The bomb was stored in a piece of luggage and detonated at a checkpoint in Beledweyne Airport where soldiers were checking luggage before passengers could board. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.


Explosion, two previous devices found

The security checkpoint at Beledweyne Airport was manned by African Union (AU) troops from Djibouti and Somali government security forces. However, the laptop bomb isn’t the first device security forces have had to deal with according to police Lieutenant-Colonel Ali Dhuh Abdi.

“A laptop computer went off at the screening area, and the security forces have also managed to defuse two other explosive devices, one of them planted in a printer,” he told reporters.

Six people were wounded in the blast, two of them policemen.


Another attack targets Somali passengers

The attack at Beledweyne comes a matter of weeks after a bomb was successfully smuggled aboard an international flight at Mogadishu Airport, roughly 200km north of Beledweyne.

The device blew a metre-squared hole in the side of the Airbus A321’s fuselage about 15 minutes after taking off. Investigators have said the entire aircraft would have been destroyed if the plane had reached cruising altitude. At a lower altitude the blast was much smaller than intended, failing to spark a second explosion in the fuel tank, which is believed to have been the original plan.

The pilot managed to land the plane back at Mogadishu and the only fatality was the man suspected of carrying the device onboard. However, the concern is a new sophistication in the types of explosive device Al-Shabaab is able to produce and its willing to target passenger planes.