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Bombers hit airport after leader departs

MOGADISHU | A suicide bomber’s car exploded at the gate to Mogadishu’s airport Thursday, and suicide bombers in a second vehicle rushed toward the terminal before blowing up themselves short of their goal, officials said. Up to 14 people were killed, including five attackers.

The coordinated assault by al-Shabab fighters was the latest in a surge of attacks by Islamist insurgents, who last month declared a new, stepped-up effort to oust the country’s weak government. The barrage took place about 40 minutes after Somalia’s president flew out of the country.

After the suicide bomber’s car exploded at the front gate, 500 yards from the terminal, between two and four suicide bombers exited a second vehicle and battled security forces.

At least two of the suicide bombers - who were wearing Somali military uniforms - forced their way into the airport grounds and ran toward the terminal.

HAITI

U.N. soldier shot, robbed at bank

PORT-AU-PRINCE | The United Nations mission in Haiti said one of its peacekeepers and a civilian woman were shot by robbers outside a bank in the capital.

U.N. police spokesman Jean-Francois Vezina said three gunmen approached on motorcycles and shot the off-duty Yemeni soldier as he left a Scotiabank branch Thursday morning.

The robbers took an undisclosed amount of money from the soldier, who was not in uniform.

Mr. Vezina said the soldier was in stable condition with a bullet wound in his shoulder. The Haitian woman injured in the attack in the capital’s Petionville neighborhood also was receiving treatment.

SOMALIA

Marines take back pirate-held ship

MANAMA, Bahrain | U.S. Marine commandos stormed a pirate-held cargo vessel off the Somalia coast Thursday, reclaiming control of the ship and taking nine prisoners without firing a shot, the U.S. Navy said.

The Navy declined to give specific tactics used in the pre-dawn raid, but it ranks among the most dramatic high seas confrontations with pirates by an international task force created to protect shipping lanes off lawless Somalia.

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