Somalia: 18 killed in Car bombings, gun attack in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia - At least 18 people were killed in car bombings and gun attack near Somalia's Presidential Palace in Mogadishu on Friday evening, Garowe Online reports.
Eyewitnesses have confirmed to GO that the first blast occurred at a main security checkpoint at the Parliament building, close the entrance of the Palace, Villa Somalia, allowing another vehicle carrying armed militants to pass through.
Minutes later, another explosion was heard nearby area and followed by sustained gunfire as militants estimated five were trying to storm the heavily fortified Presidential compound, according to the witnesses.
In the aftermath of the blasts, a huge plume of white and black smoke rose to the Sky as ambulances rushed to the scene and transported the wounded to nearby hospitals.
Medics said at least 20 people, mostly civilians have been wounded in the deadly raid.
Somali Security Minster Mohamed Islow said five militants were involved in the attack have been shot dead by the security forces and the situation was brought under control.
Islow did not comment on the casualties on the Government forces, but, sources confirmed that one Presidential guard was among the dead.
The Somalia-based Al Qaeda-affiliated Insurgent group Al-Shabaab has quickly claimed responsibility for the attack which comes hours after the Security Ministry warned explosives-filled vehicle is in the city.
Friday's attack took place days after new Intellegence Agency (NISA) and Police Chiefs were endorsed by Somali Cabinet and took office.
Mogadishu has not witnessed such attack in the past 4 months since the dismissal of Intellegence and Police Commanders in Oct following Zoobe truck bombing which killed 512 people.