Somalia forces shoot dead 2 militants in attack near airport

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) " A Somali police officer says security forces shot dead two Islamic extremist fighters who were involved in a mortar attack in the Somali capital early Sunday.

Security forces pursued and clashed with armed men who had fired mortar shells near Mogadishu's international airport, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein. Two of the insurgents were killed, he said.

The attackers detonated a minibus they were travelling in, he said. No other casualties from the blast have been reported.

"Information provided by the people has led to the killing of these thugs who inflicted harm to many people in this neighborhood," said Mohamed Abukar Islow, Somalia's security minister.

Al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida, has claimed the responsibility for the mortar attack.

Al-Shabab, Somalia's homegrown extremist group, has lost some of its territory under pressure from the African Union force, which numbers more than 22,000, and from Somalia's security forces. But al-Shabab continues to carry out deadly attacks in the capital and elsewhere.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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