Blasts near AU base, airport in Somalia

Mogadishu, Jan 2 (IANS) Two powerful blasts went off near the airport and the base of Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in the Somali capital Mogadishu, followed by heavy gunfire on Monday, officials said.

AMISOM spokesman Joe Kibet confirmed the incidents but did not give the number of casualties, Xinhua news agency reported.

Witnesses said the initial blast targeted the Halane military base manned by AU forces while the second went off outside a hotel next to Aden Adde International Airport.

Sporadic gunfire could still be heard from the two locations, Kibet added.