Dozens dead in an Al-Shabaab attack on Somali parliament
Mogadishu (Harar24) – In yet another deadly day in the Somali capital armed militants belonging the Al-Shabaab movement staged an attack against the Somali parliament in Mogadishu.
The attack commenced as more than 140 MPs were holding a meeting when suddenly a car bomb rammed into the gates of the building, causing a devastating explosion. The explosion was immediately followed by armed Al-Shabaab fighters storming the building, causing a heavy firefight to erupt between the militants and guards at the parliament.
Several sources have reported that the militants eventually fought their way into the building, occupying certain parts of the building for more than one hour. Sources further suggest that some of the militants escaped the building unnoticed due to wearing military uniforms.
The exact casualties of the attack are not known yet, however initial reports put the death toll at around twenty five, with more than dozens injured, including several high profile MPs. Several sources claim that former warlord & current MP Omar Finnish was critically injured in the attack, although the claims couldn’t be verified.
The attack was immediately claimed by the militant Al-Shabaab movement, whose military spokesman said: “Our mujahideen are carrying out a special operation inside the parliament. We will give out the full details soon” said Abu Mus’ab Abdulaziz.
The attack comes just around three months after one of Al-Shabaab’s major attacks in Mogadishu, which targeted the presidential palace, resembling similar attacks carried out by the group, such as those carried out against the UNDP building & a Mogadishu court house last year. Today’s attack raises serious concerns regarding the security situation in Mogadishu and the ability of the government and the Somali intelligence to prevent attacks by Al-Shabaab against some of the most important institutions in Mogadishu.