Battle in Somali capital ends, 29 dead

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 2, 2019 - Duration: 01:01s

Battle in Somali capital ends, 29 dead

At least 36 were killed and another 60 wounded in a deadly car bomb attack in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Thursday (February 28) evening, officials said on Friday (March 1).

Sarah Charlton reports

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Battle in Somali capital ends, 29 dead

Somali forces shot dead three Islamist militants holed up in a central Mogadishu building on Friday, bringing a day-long battle finally to an end.

Gunfire and bombs killed dozens.

Somali police say scores are injured, and fear the death toll will rise.

Al Shabaab fighters - seeking to overthrow the Western-backed government - launched the assault on Thursday night with a suicide car bomb outside a hotel.

It ignited a huge blaze that left people wounded in the rubble.

The militants then fled to a nearby building and open-fired on security forces sent to flush them out.

It was the longest time militants had held a position in Mogadishu since Somali troops, backed by African Union peacekeepers, forced them from the city in 2011.

Somalia has been in the clutches of lawlessness and violence since 1991.

A further layer of chaos added in 2015, when a splinter group of former al Shabaab insurgents, who pledged allegience to Islamic State, formed in the north.

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