24 May 2014

Somalia: Al Shabaab Gunmen Attack Parliament Building

Mogadishu — Gunmen believed to be Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab fighters have launched a day light assault on Federal parliament building in Mogadishu on Saturday according to officials, Garowe Online reports.

An explosive-laden car firstly exploded in front of Isbahaysiga Mosque near the parliament compound, followed by gun battle that triggered between Somali government soldiers who were standing guard at the building where MPs were debating an agenda focusing on public fund management and the assailants.

Witnesses have confirmed to GO correspondent that fighters in military fatigues fired live ammunition at the entrance to the parliament hall: "Plumes of black smoke could be seen over the scene of the attack, nearby civilians managed to escape while security forces have begun to engage in firefight with the uniformed attackers," an eyewitness said.

State-run station, Radio Mogadishu said, the security forces killed four Al Shabaab gunmen in the resistance.

As has been the case over the last three years, Al Shabaab militants target military and soft structures with suicide bombings and military style ambushes. The militant group previously vowed revenge on overwhelming defeat after allied forces dislodged Al Qaeda inspired fighters from a string of strategic towns in central and southern Somalia.

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