Nine Killed as Al-Shabaab Militants Storm Ministry Building in Somalia

World | April 14, 2015, Tuesday // 16:44
Bulgaria: Nine Killed as Al-Shabaab Militants Storm Ministry Building in Somalia Somali security officers take a peek through a hole on the wall caused by explosion at a government builidng that was attacked by militants from Islamist group al-Shabab in Mogadishu, Somalia, 14 April 2015. EPA/BGNES

At least nine people were killed when suspected gunmen from Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab stormed the building of Somalia's Higher Education Ministry on Tuesday, triggering a shootout with security forces.

A spokesman for Al-Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack in the centre of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, the CNN reported.

The gun battle between Al-Shabaab insurgents and police followed a car bomb explosion at the main gate of the building. A BBC correspondent on the site said a car loaded with explosives was driven into the wall surrounding the compound. The ministry building is near Somalia's police headquarters.

The special forces helped people out of the building while the attack was underway, according to a local police official quoted by the CNN. Public buses sat abandoned in the street close to the compound, which also houses Somalia’s Petroleum Ministry.

Al-Shabaab often launch attacks in Somalia, aiming to topple the government, impose a strict version of Sharia law and turn the country into an Islamic fundamentalist state

Earlier this month, Al-Shabaab gunmen stormed Garissa University College in neighbouring Kenya, killing 147 people, mostly students of Christian faith.

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Tags: Al-Shabaab, Somalia, Islamic, militants, al-Qaeda, Mogadishu
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