Mogadishu - A bomb exploded in a piece of luggage at an airport in a central Somali town, wounding three people, a police official said Monday.
The bomb went off at a checkpoint as soldiers searched through bags before passengers were allowed to board, said Ahmed Nur, a police official in the town of Beledweyne, where the incident happened Monday. An African Union peacekeeper was among the wounded, he said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but it bore the hallmarks of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab.
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Last month a bomb exploded aboard a commercial passenger jet, creating a hole in the fuselage, blowing out the suspected bomber and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Mogadishu. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for that attack.
Al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida, is waging an insurgency against Somalia's United Nations-backed government, carrying out deadly attacks in the capital, especially public places frequented by government officials, soldiers and foreigners. Hotels in Mogadishu are often targeted.
Al-Shabab has also carried out attacks on neighboring countries that contribute troops to the African Union peacekeeping force bolstering the Somali government against the extremists.