At least 15 people were killed and several others were injured after the Islamist militant group Al Shabaab attacked a Somali government building in the the capital Mogadishu on Tuesday. The victims are mostly soldiers and civilians. Explosives were loaded in a car and parked outside the compound, setting two blasts before gunmen stormed into the building.
Before security forces barged in and caught hold of the situation, the building, which primarily housed higher education, petroleum and minerals, was already captured by militants, who fired continuously.
In the past few months, Al Shabaab Islamist militants have been repeatedly targeting Somalia’s Western-backed government, along with educational institutions, as they intended to impose Islamic law.
“First two blasts occurred, a bike blast and a car blast, outside the building, then armed fighters stormed in,” police officer Major Ali Nur told Reuters.
Police officials have taken control of the situation after one-and-a-half hour. The spokesman for Al Shabaab, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu, confirmed the group’s involvement in the attack.
“Now the fighting is over and the building is secured,” police Colonel Hussein Ibrahim said.
Government spokesman Ridwaan Haji confirmed the news on his Twitter account.
Update : 17 killed in todays attack at the Ministery of Education ( 8 Civilians, 2 soldiers and 7 Al-shabaab members ). #Somalia.
— Ridwaan Haji (@Ridwaanhaji) April 14, 2015
Earlier this month, the same militants group attacked a university campus in the Kenyan town of Garissa, killing 148 people. In March last year, Al Shabaab attacked a hotel in the Somali capital and killed 14 people.