Somali airliner makes emergency landing following onboard explosion
The Airbus flight D3159 was traveling from Somalia to Djibouti when passengers heard a loud bang before seeing flames, according to Airlive.net.
At least two people were reported injured by the explosion which blew a large hole through the side of the aircraft. Details surrounding the incident vary, with VOA reporting the number of people injured as three and Vice News suggesting the “fire or explosion was contained on the airport’s tarmac”.
No explanation has been given for the cause of the explosion, but police are reportedly treating it as “suspicious”.
Somali-owned Daallo Airlines has its headquarters in Dubai, and appears on the EU’s most recent “list of air carriers which are banned from operating within the Union”.
Today’s incident comes less than two weeks after a beach-side restaurant in Mogadishu was targeted by Islamist group Al-Shabaab. Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the popular hotel restaurant on January 21, killing 20 people.
A week before that attack, the Al-Qaeda-linked militant group claimed responsibility for killing dozens of African Union peacekeepers during a raid on their base in southwestern Somalia.
Al-Shabaab has been blamed several major terrorist attacks throughout the region, such as the April 2015 assault on Garissa University in Kenya, which killed 148 students.
One year prior to that, Al-Shabaab killed 65 people over a 24-hour period around the Kenyan town Mpeketoni. The group also carried out a raid on Nairobi's Westgate Mall in 2013 which killed 67 people.
The terror group claims it wants to overthrow the Western-backed Somali government.