A bomb planted in a laptop computer has wounded six people after exploding at an airport in central Somalia today (March 7). Another bomb, which was defused, was embedded in a printer. The attack is the second laptop bombing the country has witnessed in a little over a month.
The bomb went off at a checkpoint at the Beledweyn airport, about 325 km (200 miles) north of the African Union-policed capital of Mogadishu. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but Somalia suffers regular attacks by the al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group al-Shabaab, whose goal is to overthrow the government and establish an Islamic state.
“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,” a senior police officer told reporters.
The use of bombs concealed in electronics suggests al-Shabaab may be growing more sophisticated. Members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have been working on planting explosives in electronic devices and may have shared the technology with al-Shabaab, analysts told CNN.
Last month, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a bomb embedded in a laptop that exploded on a passenger plane bound for Djibouti from Mogadishu. The bomb ripped a hole into the plane, but it was able to turn around and land. The man carrying the laptop was sucked out and consequently killed.
In 2013, a bomb planted in a laptop exploded at the reception desk of a hotel in Mogadishu before a car bomb was detonated outside, killing six people.