MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Al Shabaab militants stormed Somalia’s parliament yesterday, killing at least 10 security officers in a bomb and gun assault that the United States condemned as a “heinous act of terrorism.”
The attack started with a car bomb at a gate to the heavily fortified parliament compound, followed by a suicide bombing and then a gun battle that continued for hours. Al Shabaab is an al Qaeda-linked group that killed 67 people at a Kenyan shopping mall last year.
“Ten government forces died and 14 others were injured in the attack today. Four lawmakers were also injured. Seven of the fighters who attacked the house were also killed as you see their bodies,” Kasim Ahmed Roble, a police spokesman, told reporters at the scene.
Roble made no mention of any civilian casualties.
A spokesman for al Shabaab, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, said the group’s fighters had killed 30 people. “We killed 30 from the AU (African Union) and from the various forces of the so-called Somali government,” he said.
The al Shabaab estimate of the death toll was not independently verifiable.