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At Least 17 Dead in Al-Shabaab Attack on Somali Capital Government Building

The Somali terror group Al-Shabaab has taken credit for a suicide bombing and subsequent raid on a government building in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in which at least 17 people have died, according to the most recent estimates.

BBC reports that the death toll is currently at 17, including seven al-Shabaab terrorists. A suicide bomber drove a car heavily armed with explosives into the building; gunmen flooded the building through the hole made by the car’s impact. The building affected includes both Somalia’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals.

Of the ten killed in the attack, eight were civilians and two soldiers. The BBC identifies one soldier as being from the African Union Mission and the other a Somali soldier.

Minister of Interior Security Abdirizak Omar live-tweeted the incident and arrived at the Ministry of Education to confirm the siege was over:

While most tweets were updates on the siege, Omar also took the time to chide those tweeting that the attack is an indication that Somalia needs to reform its national security infrastructure. Omar is quoted as having described the casualties in the attack as “minimal” even before the final tally. Omar’s ministry issued an official statement following the attack on Facebook, which declared the attack “a failure” and praised the Somalian military for acting swiftly (according to a translation via Google).

This is Al-Shabaab’s largest and deadliest attack since the massacre at Kenya’s Garissa University on April 2, where four gunmen associated with the terrorist group stormed the campus and killed 148 students, after separating the Christians from the Muslims and eliminating as many Christian students as possible. The Kenyan government began airstrikes in Somali territory aimed at Al-Shabaab targets, though officials claimed the airstrikes were already planned before the terrorist attack.

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