Gunmen Storm Somali Court

Blasts heard as militants force their way in; al-Shabab suspected

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 14, 2013 5:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Witnesses in Somalia say that gunmen stormed the capital's main court complex, firing guns and detonating two blasts. One man, who was near the court when the attack happened this morning, said that armed men forced their way inside and immediately set off an explosion. A government spokesman confirmed the attack and said security forces had responded and were battling the militants. Police say there are several fatalities.

An AP reporter at the scene reported hearing a second explosion and said gunmen were on top of a court building, firing their weapons. No casualty toll was immediately available because the fighting was ongoing. Most militant attacks in Mogadishu are blamed on fighters for al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic extremist rebel group in Somalia.

In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, al-Shabab fighters march with their weapons during military exercises on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia.
In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, al-Shabab fighters march with their weapons during military exercises on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia.   (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor, File)
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