Security forces repel attack on somali parliament

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Addis Ababa, 24 May 2014 (WIC) - Somali National Security Forces and AMISOM today repelled an attack on the Federal Parliament of Somalia following a botched attempt by the Al Qaeda affiliated terror group Al Shabaab.

According to  a press release AU/UN Information Support Team sent to WIC, Minutes to midday, a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) went off outside the legislative building in downtown Mogadishu followed by gunmen who gained entry into an unoccupied section of the building.

Up to one hundred legislators present at a session of the House of the People were all evacuated to safety with one MP sustaining a gunshot on his hand. Within minutes of the attack, the Somali National Army (SNA), the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and AMISOM forces deployed to the scene alongside emergency medical personnel.

The 11 attackers, donning suicide vests, were all put out of action in the 4-hour joint operation.

AMISOM’s response was led by the Force Commander, Lt. Gen Silas Ntigurirwa who arrived at the scene minutes after the attack. “Since 11 am, we were fighting against them in order to liberate all Members of Parliament. And we’ve succeeded to save them, and right now the situation is very, very clean. Now we’ve finished to clean the Parliament building. The situation is now very safe,” said Lt. Gen Ntigurirwa as his forces gave the all-clear sign.

The Force Commander lauded the joint efforts by the forces to bring the situation under control. “It was a joint operation between AMISOM forces and Somali National Army forces and NISA also contributed. And it was a very good joint operation,” he said.

In February, the Al Shabaab attacked Villa Somalia, the seat of the government in yet another desperate attempt to remain relevant. The latest attack comes against the background of an ongoing joint offensive against Al Shabaab by the Somali National Army and AMISOM forces.

So far more than ten towns have been liberated from the terror group. AMISOM forces in southern Somalia have also intensified airstrikes targeting the group’s bases with three strikes in the last week.