Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab militants launched an attack on Somalia’s parliament headquarters Saturday, leaving at least 10 people dead and more than 11 others wounded. Members of the parliament were among those wounded after gunmen loyal to the al Qaeda-affiliated terror group stormed the facility in Mogadishu, according to witnesses and officials.
CNN Muslim terrorists used automatic rifles, heavy machine guns and explosives in an attack that lasted more than three hours, witnesses said. Mohamed Madale, a police spokesman, said security forces later secured the building after the fighters blew themselves up. He said the security forces killed several fighters during the attack.
Dahir Mohamed, a police officer who witnessed the attack, said the attackers used a car filled with explosives to get into the parliament building, and killed some of the Somali forces guarding the building on their way in.
Smoke and flames could be seen pouring from the building as ambulances pulled up to attend to the wounded lying on the ground. People took cover as security forces moved in, exchanging gunfire with the attackers. Some members of parliament were evacuated from the building.
Ali Osman, an ambulance worker at the scene, told CNN that he collected 10 bodies, including those of Somali forces, civil servants and civilians who were caught in the crossfire during attack. He also said more than 11 others, including members of the parliament were also wounded.
Al-Shabaab took responsibility for the attack. A spokesman, Abdul Aziz Abu Musab said on Radio Andalus, the group’s radio network: “Their martyrdoms carried the attack on the parliament building and they killed what he called many of the apostate MPs.”
Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said in a statement, “The terrorists have once again shown that they are against all Somalis, by killing our innocent brothers and sisters. These cowardly, despicable actions are not a demonstration of the true Islamic faith.” (Yes, it IS!)