Two suicide attacks in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday have left at least 30 people dead, exposing the fragile security there despite the government’s recent successes against Muslim militants al Shabaab.
In the worst violence of the year 34 civilians died according to one report, and the nine gunmen responsible for the twin attacks were also killed.
In the first, a squad of heavily-armed militants attacked the central courthouse, with several of them detonating explosive vests once inside. Soldiers surrounded the complex and after a fire-fight lasting several hours regained control, only to find 38 bodies inside, including the attackers.
Al Shabaab was chased out of the capital in 2011, and while it has retained control of much of the countryside its urban strongholds are all back under government control.
In the second attack a car bomb exploded as an African Union and Turkish Red Crescent convoy was passing on its way to the airport, killing another five civilians. British intelligence warned on the fifth of this month that an attack on the capital by al Shabaab was “in its final stages” of preparation.