A gun battle between Somalia’s security forces and the armed group al-Shabab in the capital, Mogadishu, has ended, leaving 15 people dead, including the country’s deputy labour minister, police said.
Al-Shabab gunmen on Saturday stormed Somalia’s ministries of labour and works after detonating a car bomb at the gates of the building, near the headquarters of the country’s intelligence agency.
Minister Saqar Ibrahim Abdalla was killed in his ground-floor office shortly after the fighters entered the building, police officer Mohamed Hussein told The Associated Press news agency.
Al-Shabab said one of its fighters had rammed the ministry building with a suicide car bomb, allowing others to enter it.
Eleven people were injured, Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Amin Ambulance Service said.
Nur said people were rescued with a ladder from the upper floors and that an exchange of gunfire ensued.
Al-Shabab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government, was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds.
But it remains a threat, with its fighters frequently carrying out bombings in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, whose troops form part of the African Union mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM that helps defend Somalia’s central government.
Reuters news agency