MOGADISHU: Rebels blew up a car bomb and gunmen attacked a national-intelligence site in Somalia’s capital where suspected militants are held, in an assault on Sunday that left 11 people dead, government officials and the rebel group said.
Three soldiers and one civilian were killed along with seven militants, including the suicide bomber who detonated the vehicle packed with explosives, Security Ministry spokesman Mohamed Yusuf told reporters at the site. After the initial blast, gunmen stormed the compound but did not reach the underground cells where suspected militants were being detained, Yusuf said. One intelligence officer, who identified himself only as Nur, told Reuters the gunmen had entered one building, forcing security personnel to fight room-to-room to clear them out. “All the attackers perished in the end,” Nur said. “It seems their target was to cause a mess here and thus free their militant colleagues held in the underground cells, but that will not happen,” Nur said.
Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations, told Reuters the group was behind the attack, the latest in a series of raids in Mogadishu in recent months, including a July assault on the presidential compound. The presidential compound, which is situated near the national-intelligence site, was also attacked using what has become a familiar tactic: a vehicle tries to blast its way through perimeter security and gunmen charge in afterwards.
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