At least four dead in al-Shabab assault on Mogadishu

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Al-Shabab said one of its fighters rammed the ministry building with a suicide car bomb [Reuters]
Al-Shabab said one of its fighters rammed the ministry building with a suicide car bomb [Reuters]
BY:REUTERS

Al-Shabab fighters stormed a Somali government building in Mogadishu on Saturday, killing at least four people in a suicide car bomb attack and an ensuing gunfight.

A large explosion shook the centre of the Somali capital in the latest bombing by the group, which is fighting to establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law, as the attackers stormed into the building.

“Al-Shabab stormed the building where two ministries, including the Ministry of Labour, work. So far we know four people are dead but [the] death toll is sure to rise,” Major Abdullahi Nur, a police officer told the Reuters news agency.

Eleven people were injured, Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Amin Ambulance Service said, adding some were still trapped inside the building and that it was not possible to rescue them because of an ongoing gun battle.

Al-Shabab said one of its fighters had rammed the ministry building with a suicide car bomb, allowing others to enter it.

Nur said people were being rescued with a ladder from the upper floors and that an exchange of gunfire was still going on.

“We are inside the building and [the] fighting goes on. We shall give details later,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab’s military operation spokesman said.

Al-Shabab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government, was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds.

But it remains a threat, with its fighters frequently carrying out bombings in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, whose troops form part of the African Union mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM that helps defend Somalia’s central government.

 

This is a developing story, Please check back at the Horndiplomat for Updates.

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