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Al-Shabab Attacks Somali Parliament, 8 Killed

Somali security forces take position on May 24, 2014 in Mogadishu after an attack on the national parliament.

Saturday, May, 24, 2014

At least eight people are dead after gunmen attacked the Somali parliament in Mogadishu on Saturday.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which included a car bombing and was carried out by suicide commandos.

Some lawmakers were inside of the building at the time of the attack. Members of parliament told VOA at least three colleagues were wounded.

One member of parliament, defense committee chairman Hussein Arab Isse, said the country's internal security committee had reported that parliament was going to be targeted in an attack and that security needed to be tightened.

He said apparently the report "was not taken seriously."

Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed condemned the attack. In a Saturday statement, he said "terrorists" had once again shown that they were "against all Somalis." He said their "cowardly, despicable" acts were not a "demonstration of the true Islamic faith."  

The prime minister applauded the "swift response" from Somalia's military and AMISOM, the African Union force in Somalia, security forces.

Al-Shabab at one point held large parts of Somalia, but was pushed out of major cities by the AU forces and Somali government.  The group has continued to carry out attacks, including a recent assault on the presidential palace in Mogadishu.


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