An attack by members of the Shabab militant group on a government detention center in Mogadishu on Sunday left at least 12 people dead, including seven attackers, officials said.
The attack, which lasted 45 minutes, struck a prison known as Godka Jilacow around 11:40 a.m. as members of the militant group tried to fight their way inside, according to a statement by the Ministry of Information.
The prison is controlled by the country’s National Intelligence and Security Agency.
Somalia’s information minister, Mustaf Duhulow, said in a statement that the attackers’ goal was to force their way into the prison and “free their comrades” who were being held there.
Three members of the security forces and two passers-by were also killed in the attack, the statement said.
The Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Somali and African Union forces in Somalia have launched an offensive to push the Shabab out of the towns in the Middle and Lower Shabelle regions of central and southern Somalia.
On Saturday, the forces said that they had taken over the Shabab stronghold of Bulo Marer, about 70 miles south of Mogadishu, the capital.
SOURCE: MOHAMMED IBRAHIM
The New York Times