21 February 2019
Government troops patrol the streets of Mogadishu. Photo: Reuters
Government troops patrol the streets of Mogadishu. Photo: Reuters

Islamist rebels attack Somalia prison; 12 dead


Somalian security guards foiled an attack by Islamist militants who tried to capture a high security prison in Mogadishu on Sunday, CNN reported.

Seven members of the Al-Shabaab group were killed in the firefight, Information Minister H.E. Mustafa Duhulow said in a statement.

Three security guards and two civilians were also killed while 15 others were injured, Security Ministry spokesman Mohamed Yusuf told CNN.

“The attackers exchanged heavy gunfire with prison guards after detonating a car bomb at the main gate,” Mohamed said. The rebels posed as government troops to approach the National Intelligence and Security Agency facility.

The attackers were apparently trying to free comrades held at the prison, a police officer was quoted as saying.

The underground facility, which is near the Somali presidential palace, holds hundreds of inmates, mostly Al-Shabaab members.

Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group, claimed responsibility for the deadly attack at a Kenyan mall last year and is believed to be responsible for attacks in Somalia that have killed international aid workers, journalists, civilian leaders and African Union peacekeepers, the report said.

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