MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Nine al-Shabab militants, most wearing suicide vests, stormed Somalia’s main court complex on Sunday while the Supreme Court was in session, firing a barrage of bullets during a running gun battle with security forces that lasted two hours, officials said. A preliminary death toll stood at 16, including all nine attackers.

The assault was the most serious in the city since al-Shabab militants were forced out of the capital in August 2011. Al-Shababcontrols far less territory today than in years past, and its influence appears to be on the decline, but Sunday’s attack proved the militants are still capable of pulling off well-planned and audacious assaults.

The attack on the Supreme Court complex began at around 12:30 p.m., sparking running battles with police and army forces. Two bomb blasts were heard and gunmen were seen on a court building roof firing shots, an Associated Press reporter at the scene said. Police officer Hassan Abdulahi said he saw five dead bodies lying at the entrance to the court.

The militants took an unknown number of hostages during the siege. Many other government workers and civilians in the court complex — a confusing labyrinth of buildings and rooms — hid while fearing for their lives.

Western officials knew militants had been planning something major. The British Foreign Office on Friday released a travel warning for Somalia that warned of a high threat of terrorism. “We continue to believe that terrorists are in the final stages of planning attacks in Mogadishu,” it said.

The complex and sustained nature of the assault on the court system suggested militants hoped to inflict severe casualties. Later, a suicide car bomber rammed a vehicle carrying Turkish citizens.

On a Twitter feed believed to belong to the militants, al-Shabab appeared to take credit for the attack. A posting said five militants from the “Martyrdom Brigade” took part in the “daring” attack.

Interior Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled said nine militants attacked the court complex, and that six of them detonated suicide vests. Three others were shot and killed during the assault, he said. Guled said he couldn’t immediately provide an overall death toll that included government officials and civilians.

Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon said the “pointless and pathetic act” would have no effect on the government’s commitment to progress. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said Somalia is moving forward but the enemy of Somalia and “of all mankind” is trying to prevent the country from prospering.

“I want the terrorist 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,” Mohamud said.

Ugandan troops stationed in Mogadishu as part of the African Union force arrived at the scene and began taking up sniper positions on rooftops.

The Supreme Court was in session and the court’s chief justice may have been the target of the assault, said a Western official who had been speaking to Somali officials. The official spoke on condition he wasn’t identified because he wasn’t authorized to release the information.

The gunmen took hostages in the complex’s main courtroom and forced their way into other rooms in the complex, said another police officer, Abdinasir Nor. The number of hostages wasn’t immediately known.

The court complex is a confusing maze of buildings and rooms, allowing for plenty of places to hide but also for many places for gunmen to take hostages. The armed men forced their way inside the complex and immediately set off an explosion, said Yusuf Abdi, who was near the court when the attack happened.

About two hours after the assault began, survivors of the attack began coming out of the court complex. Some were crying and others held their heads in their hands.

“I never expected to make it out alive today,” said Halima Geddi, who fled the court complex about two hours after the attack. She said she had taken cover behind an outer wall. “There is no peace. No one protects us. I came to see my boy who was supposed to be tried here.”

At about 3 p.m. a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into a car carrying Turkish citizens to the airport, said Mohamed Anjeh, a police commander.

Mogadishu’s main government center is heavily guarded with multiple security checks. However, the security at the court complex is not nearly as strong. The Ugandan troops who arrived on scene began pushing back on-lookers shortly after the attack began.

Most militant attacks in Mogadishu are blamed on fighters from al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremist rebel group in Somalia. Al-Shabab ruled Mogadishu from roughly 2006 until August 2011, when African Union and Somali forces pushed them out of the city. Since then the al-Shabab extremists have launched suicide bombings on the capital city every few weeks.

Despite those intermittent attacks, Mogadishu is generally considered more peaceful today than most of the previous seven years.


 Source: AP


  1. As long GODANE have safe haven in Hargeisa council this sort of suicide mission will continue unabided.

    • you are disgusting . To suggest such a horrific lie show who you are. Faqash over Faq666sh.

    • @Muraad, when someone is alcoholic and they seek treatment, first thing they need to do is to say it loud to other people, I am alcoholic. See the reality on the ground and then face the problem and try to find solution. You somali people in the south don't live in the real world.

      • Everyone knows Majority of Shabab are Daroods since the Rahanweyn returned to their farming. It is only Darood who are determined to carry on the Jihad of expansionism and terrorism. It is their only opportunity to retain political legitimacy in fact the recent Muuqdishu bombing was linked to the Nephew of Saciid Shirdoon the PM and second most powerful man in Muuqdishu.

        Interesting how the bombing happened while he took his first trip outside Somalia-Italia.

  2. The Reality in the ground is far more sinister and we are been fed propaganda as usual. Government forces receive less then $500/Month compared to $1200/month for Amisom troops.

    Every month government troops pay is delayed and they are forced into crime and road side robbery.

    – Government forces rape Idps
    – They assassinate journalists
    – 9 Prisoners in a police jail were taken to a market and executed without trail
    – The Two lawyers killed are those who defended the mother raped by police.

    If these Somali troops are about to be given more weapons then all hell is about to break loose. No surprise USA extended it's Sanctions having added just enough fuel to the fire of Somalia-Italia.

    Shabab has infiltrated the highest ranks of the Somali government forces and it will not be long before there is direct confrontations between the Government troops. More alarming is the potential for resale of government arms to militant groups in the horn of Africa.

    • stfu bro s/land does the same thing, u seen in the yr 2012 how many journalist were beat to death by the s/land troops/police, the only thing democratic in s/land is the free elections ill give them that, but thats it. there is no freedom of speach, walk around borama yelling awdal state gets u thrown in jail or killed..and look all the men in mandera prison (excluding pirates) how much of em get free trials ?? s/land is hyprocrisy


      • Stop using other people's names if you are name enough.

        Somaliland-Republic & Somalia-italia-Federation will be working together to stop all militant groups like the one you belong to and ras kibiki.

    • kkkkkkk, Darood is not like ( Dhoocil carootey sida Isaq), they are big enough and strong enough.

  3. This is nothing but the desperate attacks and spasms of a defeated terrorists, their hateful allies and sympathizers. It is expected. The only thing that is not acceptable is that the government of Somalia does not compile the names of the terror leaders, place a bounty on their heads and actively seek men like Abdi Godane and Robow to swift justice. In fact, it is pure stupidity and cowardice that the government tries to rehabilitate these nihilists when they are caught red-handed to appease their tribal chiefs. Shoot them on site.

  4. Alshabaab is the enemy of all somalis, regardless of what part of the country you inhabit, shabaab musat be stopped with thier sick idealogy, wahaabi. These guys are trained and helped by fat arbas somewhere in the middle east. I ask the young somali men to denounce terror and give up their weapon, they will not go to heaven by killing innocent muslims. These guys removed and burned the blue somali flag and replaced it with a war flag, jihad jihad. to hell with jihad. who are you fighting? suicide bombing is not out culture, we dont kill ourselves in order to kill innocent women and children. The uSA and all the WESt must arm the somali army to the teeth so they can fight the terrorists.

    • @ Wadani,

      Tell damul jadiid or jalmad jadiid, the reality we know who is behind this, it was few weeks when someone stole weapon vill somalia. where do you thing that weapon went?.

      so, let's be honest here, how come Puntland and somaliland is safe not mogadishu? the answer is simple and clear, hawiye one munite is Al-shabab next warlord, next fake naiionalist. this is the real problem…..

  5. @Buxiye

    For $500 a month in Somalia that is pretty good life mate . Trust me i send atleast 300 a month to my family and their kids go to private schools and even my teenage cousin goes to Nugal university.

    • That is if they even get paid in the first place… some times for 3-4months they receive nothing so they only have their guns to earn there money or they sell government secrets to shabab.

      How easy would it be to pay a Somali soldier $1000 to allow Shabab to infiltrate any guarded facility?

  6. Hasan sheikh mohamud should immediately ask the C.I.A. to deploy its drone in Somalia so they can carry strikes and kill all the Al shabaab commanders. Godane and his wahhabi terrorists have never contributed anything good to Somalia all they do is go from city to city, town to town and village to village killing innocent people, destroying properties, starving the populations and taking young girls as rape slaves for their foreign fighters.

    Al-Shabaab is a cancer that needs to chopped into thousands of pieces.

    • No That not true this picture shows that there is a film shooting in Somalia and you should know that Somalia there is a Peace and Stability in Mogadishu people are trying to smear mud on our Strong Government and our Strong President The Crawling Hazzan Chick Memoon. FIFA Zoomalia

  7. Sad business. I keep telling you people once your mind is robbed there is no going back. Islam is a death cult. If you think this life is no more than an illusion and the next one is all that glitters then young men will continue to sacrifice themselves and the future of their people.

    When you think about it the arabs have figured out away not only to mentally enslave people to their culture but to have people kill themselves for their cause. Its both brilliant and sinister. Sadly, many Somalis would rather follow this nonsense than common sense of rational thought which is far removed from religion.

    The only hope the Somali people have are the few of us young men and women who are getting a chance to see the world and see how secular laws and institutions are formed for the common good. Hopefully, maybe one day when people are tired of fighting, tired of constantly praying and still being at the bottom of the heap maybe then they will open their eyes and take their place among the great nations of this world.

    • Sorry to say but you are a few light years ahead. for this change people like you must also be ready to die for freedom and rational thought.