January 23, 2023
An explosion near a government building in Mogadishu was followed by a shootout between security forces and gunmen that left at least five civilians dead. The al-Shabab terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.
An explosion followed by gunshots rocked the Somali capital on Sunday, officials and witnesses said. At least five civilians and alls six attackers were killed and 16 more were reportedly injured on the scene.
Witnesses said the blast damaged buildings near the regional government’s headquarters.
What we know about the attack
“Terrorists blasted a vehicle loaded with explosives onto a perimeter wall of the Mogadishu mall which is next to the Banadir administration headquarters,” police officer Abdullahi Mohamed told the AFP news agency.
The Associated Press news agency reported, citing a staff member at the government building, that gunmen entered and exchanged fire with security forces after the blast.
The al-Qaeda-linked terror group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Repeated attacks by al-Shabab
Sunday’s attack came just days after seven soldiers were killed by al-Shabab in a military camp in central Somalia. According to the US military, some 100 jihadists linked to the group were involved in the assault Friday.
Earlier this month, two car bombs targeting the homes of government officials killed at least 35 people in the central Hiraan region.
Militants have waged a violent insurgency against Somalia’s internationally-backed government since 2007.
Last year, the Somali government declared “total war” against al-Shabab and has since retaken some communities that were under the group’s control in the country’s center and south.
fb/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)