Mogadishu, Jan 23, (dpa/GNA) – A suicide bomber, rammed a car loaded with explosives into the gate of a government building in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday.
Armed fighters of the Islamist terrorist militia al-Shabaab, then stormed the seat of the regional government, a police officer told dpa. The building houses the office of the mayor of Mogadishu and the governor of the surrounding Benadir region.
The attackers opened fire, killing at least six. The deceased included two security forces, three civilians and the suicide bomber, the officer said.
The mayor as well as many other officials were evacuated by security forces.
However, the attackers continued to lay siege to the building early Sunday evening.
“Our security forces are still fighting the terrorists,” Deputy Mayor Mohamed Yaboh said.
Up to seven al-Shabaab fighters were believed to be holed up in the building, he added.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, via the pro-Islamist radio station Andalus.
The crisis-ridden state on the Horn of Africa with about 16 million people, has been rocked by terrorist attacks and other acts of violence for years, especially by al-Shabaab.
For several months, the government has been taking military action against al-Shabaab, successfully recapturing large parts of central Somalia.
This has in turn, led the extremists to intensify their attacks.