Al Shabaab Islamist militants said they were behind a bomb and gun attack on the headquarters of Somalia’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Mogadishu on Sunday.
“A fighter rammed a suicide car bomb into CID then other armed fighters stormed inside. We are now fighting inside the CID building,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told reuters
At least nine people have been killed including four attackers. Ali Hassan, a police officer at the Central Investigations Department (CID), said security forces foiled the assault and shot dead the gunmen who tried to storm the heavily fortified security facility.
Witnesses reported hearing two loud explosions before an exchange of gunfire, which lasted around half an hour.
The bodies of four civilians lay in the street near the compound, which was partially destroyed. A kiosk near the wall caught fire.
The attack comes less than a week after suicide bombers killed at least 13 people at the gates of the African Union’s main peacekeeping base in Mogadishu.
The country in the Horn of Africa was plunged into anarchy in the early 1990s following the toppling of military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.