UPDATE 1-Two blasts heard in Djibouti, cause unknown-witness

Sat May 24, 2014 3:11pm EDT

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DJIBOUTI May 24 (Reuters) - Two loud blasts struck a busy cafe in downtown Djibouti frequented by Westerners on Saturday and at least 10 people were wounded, a Reuters witness said.

Police had cordoned off the scene. It was not immediately clear what caused the blasts. The witness said he saw at least 10 people sitting near the area of the cafe, with bloody wounds.

Djibouti has the United States' only military base in Africa and is an important ally in the U.S.-led fight against militant Islam.

The former French colony's port is also used by foreign navies protecting the Gulf of Aden's shipping lanes, some of the busiest in the world, from Somali pirates.

It has also contributed troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia. Other contributing countries, Kenya and Uganda have in the past been hit by gun and bomb attacks by Somalia's al Qaeda-linked Shabaab insurgents.

Somali troops and AMISOM, comprising troops from Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Djibouti, drove al Shabaab out of Somalia's capital Mogadishu in 2011. (Reporting by Abdourahim Arteh, Writing by George Obulutsa, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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