Published On: Sun, Jul 31st, 2016

Al-Shabaab claims deadly attack on Somali police HQ

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Militants rammed two explosive-laden cars into the gates of Somalia’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters before at least two gunmen stormed inside, police said Sunday.

“We have confirmed seven dead including civilians and two militants,” Ali Mohamed, a police officer, told Reuters news agency. Witnesses in central Mogadishu said they heard loud explosions followed by half an hour of gunfire.

“I saw a vehicle driving into the gates of the Criminal Investigation Department at a high speed and then a huge blast went off,” witness Mohamed Abdi said.

Second attack

Islamist extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack on the police building, which is used to interrogate and sometimes hold suspected militants.

It is the second major strike by the terror group this week. On Tuesday, the militants carried out twin car bombings near the African Union’s main peacekeeper’s base, killing 13 people.

Despite being pushed out of the capital in 2011, al-Shabab has continued to wage a violent campaign to overthrow the country’s UN-backed government.

The group’s goal is to establish an Islamic emirate and impose its strict version of Shariah law in the Horn of Africa. More than 22,000 peacekeepers from a multinational African Union force are currently stationed in Somalia.

Al-Shabab, which also opposes the presence of foreign troops, has launched a number of attacks on countries like Kenya and Uganda that have contributed soldiers to the force.

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