MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA): Somalia security forces ended a siege by members of the al-Shabaab terrorist organization Sunday at the Banadir Regional Administration headquarters in the capital Mogadishu.
The attack by al-Shabaab, which left five people dead, began with a suicide bombing before the terrorists stormed the headquarters and exchanged fire with security guards.
Somalia’s Information Ministry issued a statement after the siege ended, saying security forces shot dead all six terrorist attackers and managed to rescue regional officials after a multifaceted operation was conducted.
The ministry said five civilians were killed and sixteen others were wounded in the attack.
The attackers came on foot disguised as government troops, the ministry said in a statement.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and said it killed 34 people, including officials from the Mogadishu municipality and federal government as well as senior security officials.
It marked the first deadly complex attack carried out by the terrorist group in Mogadishu this year.
In late November last year, Al-Shabaab attacked the busy Villa Rays Hotel near Somalia’s presidential palace.
Security forces ended the attack after a more than 20-hour operation that killed five terrorists.
Eight civilians were killed in the attack.
The group has intensified its attacks, mainly targeting security personnel and their bases since the national army, backed by residents, started its offensive against them.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared a “total war” on all fronts against the terrorists, and since his announcement, the army has scored significant victories against them.
Recently, the army liberated the strategic seaside town of Harardhere, which had been under the control of the terrorist group for more than a decade.
Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with al-Shabaab and Daesh/ISIS being among the main threats.
The UN has warned of growing instability in the country, issuing periodic reports last year that detailed attacks by al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh/ISIS terrorist groups.
[Photo: A view of damage at the office of Mogadishu’s mayor after bombings followed by gunfire by Al-Shabaab in Somalia’s capital targeted the Banadir Regional Administration headquarters on Sunday in Mogadishu, Somalia on January 22, 2023. Photojournalist :Abukar Mohamed Muhudin/AA]