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UPDATE - Deputy Minister reportedly killed in Al-Shabaab attack

Hiiraan Online
Saturday March 23, 2019

Saqar Ibrahim Abdalla, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs - FILE PHOTO

Mogadishu (HOL) - The Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Saqar Ibrahim Abdalla is reported to be among the multiple dead following an Al-Shabaab attack on a Somali government building on Saturday.

Al-Shabaab militants rammed the building housing the ministries of Labor and of General Works, Reconstruction and Housing with a suicide car bomb as five gunmen stormed the government complex.

Minutes later, a second explosion was heard in the same area.

Somali security forces are currently fighting to neutralize the militants.

So far, officials have counted at least four dead but expect the death toll to rise.

The city's only ambulance service said that eleven people are confirmed injured but added that dozens were still trapped inside as Saturday is a working day in Somalia.

Al-Shabaab has already claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that their fighters were inside the building.

“We are inside the building and (the) fighting goes on. We shall give details later,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman told Reuters.

A similar attack targeting a bustling area of Mogadishu in late February killed at least 24 people.

A Somali official who could not be named said the security and intelligence community was expecting a major Al-Shabaab assault on a government installation for nearly a week.


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