International Flights Canceled In Mogadishu Airport After Blast, Shooting - Reports

International Flights Canceled in Mogadishu Airport After Blast, Shooting - Reports

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 19th February, 2021) All international flights were canceled at Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu on Friday in the wake of an explosion at the entrance, as well as nearby gunfights, the local Radio Dalsan broadcaster reported.

Earlier in the day, clashes between the country's opposition and government forces were reported at Daljirka Dahson Square in the capital. After the incident, former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud accused the government of attacking a hotel where he and his predecessor, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, were staying.

Later, heavy fighting near the airport was reported by the Garowe online news website. Soon after, the news outlet said plumes of smoke were coming from the area and the sound of ambulance sirens was heard in the vicinity.

Meanwhile, according to Radio Dalsan, Somalian security forces also opened fire to disperse the opposition's demonstration lead by former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and the leader of the Wadajir party, Abdirahman Abdishakur.

Garowe reported that the rally was taking place near the airport.

The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia has already expressed concern over the recent developments in the country.

"The [United Nations] in #Somalia is deeply concerned by armed clashes in #Mogadishu overnight and on Friday morning, calls for calm and restraint by all parties involved, and urges that open lines of communication be maintained to help reduce tensions," the mission tweeted.

The situation has been escalating after the country passed an agreed-upon election deadline, February 8. On Thursday, the Somalian government banned public gatherings, citing a spike in COVID-19 cases.