MOGADISHU: Five people were killed including a deputy minister on Saturday after Al-Shabaab militants stormed government buildings in Somalia's capital, a witness and a senator told AFP. "I saw the dead bodies of four people, one of them in police uniform," said witness Abdulahi Mohamed.
Senator Ilyas Ali Hassan named the deceased minister as Saqar Ibrahim Abdalla, who was killed separately.
BREAKING: Car bomb explosion rocks Shangani district of Mogadishu. Three key buildings locate in the area of the attack - Ministries of Labour; General Works, Reconstruction & Housing, and the HQS of Mogadishu regional police forces. There are reports of gunfire in the area. pic.twitter.com/XW0bSQ4uRz— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) March 23, 2019
Police official Ibrahim Mohamed said the attack ended after police killed four gunmen. "There were some other casualties including members of the police," he said, without elaborating. The attack also left at least 11 people wounded, according to Abdukadir Abdirahman Adan, director of the Aamin ambulance service in the capital Mogadishu.
Shortly after the assault began, Al-Shabaab issued a statement claiming credit. Attacks that combine bombings with gunmen have become a speciality of the Al-Qaeda linked group, which is fighting an armed insurrection in Somalia against what it sees as heretic and foreign influence.
Earlier this month, at least 20 people died in an attack in Mogadishu which saw Al-Shabaab jihadists battling security forces for nearly 24 hours.