Militants in Mogadishu have carried out a multipronged complex attack against Somalia's parliament building involving a car bomb, suicide bomber and gunmen on foot. Al-Shabab has claimed the attacks.
The ensuing melee left at least seven people dead, six of the attackers and one soldier who tried to stopped a suicide bomber from entering the building, police Captain Mohamed Hussein said on Saturday. Security forces shot and killed four men, Hussein said, with the other two having died in the suicide blasts, one as the car's driver, the other bearing his bomb on foot.
Many members of parliament remained inside the building as the attack unfolded. Gunfire and two blasts rang out near the building long after police had confirmed the six deaths, suggesting the involvement of more attackers.
The al Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for Saturday's assault. The group has carried out several such complex attacks in Mogadishu - among them one earlier this month on a government vehicle, an attempt on the presidential palace in February that left 16 dead, including members of the group, and assaults on a hotel that killed a dozen people in March.
Government forces drove Al-Shabab from the capital in 2011, but the group still controls broad areas of southern Somalia.
mkg/dr (Reuters, AFP, AP)