Somalia govt minister among 5 victims in extremist attack


"Another militant was a suicide auto bomber and so he also died", Major Ali Abdullahi, a police officer told Reuters.

Gunmen set off a suicide auto bombing then stormed a government building in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu on Saturday, killing at least five people including the country's deputy labor minister, police said.

The attack also left at least 11 people wounded, according to Abdukadir Abdirahman Adan, director of the Aamin ambulance service in the capital Mogadishu.

The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

A vehicle bomb blast rocked the Shangani district of Mogadishu targeting a building housing the ministries of Labour and of General Works, Reconstruction and Housing as well as the Headquarters of Mogadishu regional police.

Police later said the fighting at the building had ended and that the premises had been completely secured.

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Saqar Ibrahim Abdalla, Somalia's deputy minister of labor and social affairs, was killed in his ground-floor office shortly after gunmen stormed the building, he said.

The US has sharply increased its air strikes against the group, which is linked to al-Qaeda, since President Donald Trump took power.

Somali soldiers arrest a civilian close to the scene of two explosions set off near the ministries of public works and labour in Mogadishu on March 23, 2019. The following year, the group were chased out of Mogadishu by the 22,000-strong African Union peace-enforcement mission, AMISOM.

Dozens of people inside the building at the time since Saturday is a working day in Somalia.

They have since lost many of their strongholds but retain control of large rural swathes of the country and continue to wage a guerrilla war, frequently hitting Mogadishu.

"Amnesty researchers say at least 14 civilians were killed in U.S. bombings". The four militants who attacked the building were shot dead. Through its affiliate media, al-Shabab also claimed its fighters entered the buildings of Labor, and General Works, Reconstruction & Housing.