Mogadishu(ANN) Militants launched a serious and sustained assault on Mogadishu’s main court complex on Sunday, detonating at least two blasts, taking an unknown number of hostages and
engaging in extended gun battles with government security forces, witnesses said.
The attack on Somalia’s Supreme Court complex began at around 12.30 p.m. local time and running battles with police and army forces lasted more than two hours. Two bomb blasts were heard and gunmen were seen on a court building roof firing shots, an Associated Press reporter at the scene said.
Somalia’s top leaders denounced the attack.
Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon called the raid a “pointless and pathetic act,” the president said terrorists could not intimidate the rule of law.
“I want the terrorists to know that our country, Somalia, is moving and will keep moving forward and will not be prevented to achieve the ultimate noble goal, a peaceful and stable Somalia, by a few desperate terrorists,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said.
The courthouse is in the heavily guarded administrative quarter of the capital and several senior officials were caught in the chaos.
Among the dead from the courthouse attack were two prominent lawyers, Mohamed Mohamud Afrah and Abdikarin Hassan, who recently defended a journalist who stood trial after interviewing a rape victim.