Twenty killed during gun battle with Somali militants as staff try to flee to secure bunker

The United Nations’ gradual, peaceful return to Somalia was shattered this morning as a truck full of explosives was detonated at the front gates of its compound in the capital, Mogadishu.

Less than a month after declaring the end of the transition period in the East African country and reinforcing its mission, the UN came under sustained attack from Islamist militants al-Shabaab.

After an explosion, seven gunmen, from what the al-Qa’ida affiliate calls its “martyrdom brigade”, ran into the compound. A battle lasting more than an hour ensued, as African Union peacekeepers and security guards fought the militants. At least 20 people were killed, including the seven terrorists and four of the security forces. Most of the UN staff inside found shelter in a secure bunker within the building, but not everyone made it.

“There was not very much time to get into the safe area,” said UN spokesman Ben Parker, who warned there may be news of more casualties.

The initial blast sprayed shrapnel and masonry across a busy street, killing at least five civilians and wounding many more. Inside the compound, reports suggested that two South African de-mining experts, as well as a Kenyan and a Somali member of UN staff were among at least 20 dead. A Somali government official said all seven attackers had been killed.

Throughout the assault, a Twitter account purporting to represent the Somali militants gave live commentary, claiming that the attackers had killed 16 UN workers, including three Britons, two Kenyans and a South African. The Foreign Office is investigating reports of British casualties.

Survivors were evacuated to the Amisom military base only a few metres away, which is the closest that Mogadishu has to a green zone.

The attack comes after a prolonged period of optimism during which Britain reopened its embassy in Mogadishu and the new President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was fêted at a London donors conference in May.

Earlier this month the UN declared the end of a troubled eight-year political transition in Somalia and appointed former British ambassador, Nick Kay, as special envoy. Speaking last night, he said that the attack would not prompt the organisation to withdraw from the nation: “The UN is here to help and we are here to stay.”

Mr Kay condemned the attack on the humanitarian and development workers: “This was an act of blatant terrorism and a desperate attempt to knock Somalia off its path of recovery and peace-building,” he said. President Mohamud called al-Shabaab a “disgrace” to Somalia last night but insisted his country had “turned a corner”.

Much has been made of the first Somali President to be elected since the collapse of the central government and the descent into civil war in 1991. That conflict was sustained by stockpiles of arms left over from the Cold War and topped up by various foreign governments including the US, which backed the corrupt and ineffective Transitional Federal Government that was dismantled last year.

However, the new Somali leader was selected, not elected. He was chosen by a new tranche of unelected MPs after days of clan-based political horse-trading in a deeply flawed process last September. The fact that the former university dean and civil rights activist was an improvement on his predecessor, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, was an almost accidental outcome.

The security gains made since al-Shabaab left Mogadishu at the height of a terrible famine two years ago are constantly threatened. Last month a car bomb was rammed into a convoy of Qatari officials travelling with Somalia’s Interior Minister.

Neither the minister nor the visitors were hurt, but 11 bystanders were killed. A fortnight previously gunmen stormed the Supreme Court complex, killing at least 30 people and fighting gun battles with police and soldiers.

Source:The Independent


  1. Okay, there are a couple of points to make here First Mogadishu should be the safest place in Somalia there are at least 10 thousands African troops in Mogadishu alone with the Somali National Army, the National Intelligence Service, Somali Police Force and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa forces and most importantly all the cities outside of Mogadishu are all under government forces like Jowhaar, Balcaad, Afgooye, Marka, Wanlaweyne etc even the allied forces now control large swathe of Bay region and the main high road that links Mogadishu to Baidoa is under government/ AMISOM's control.

    So far only Baraawe which is in Lower Shebelle region is the only major town still under Al Shabaab control but Baraawe isn't close to Mogadishu at all it's more close to Kismayo.

    Seriously how come al shabaab attacks Mogadishu from time to time when Al Shabaab are no near to Mogadishu? Al shabaab are present in rural areas around Bakool, Bay and Hiiraan region which are close to Ethiopian or Baardheere in Gedo region which is not far from Kenyan border or Ceelbuur in Galguduud region Al shabaab biggest base just south of Gaalkacyo.

    The fact of the matter is Al-Shabaab has not been routed out of Mogadidhu in fact they have their weapons, fighters, wives and the so called leader Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is no doubt is a Al shabaab supporter since he believes in the wahhabi teaching and his entire government are Al shabaab under sheep cloth to mislead the international community.

    The capital of Somalia should be moved to other peaceful areas like Hargeisa, Kismaayo, Garoowe etc.

    Ps I was born in mogadishu and I am half Hawiya.

    • Logic has it. For the SFG, SLD excepted as different ball game policies/Politics, you have
      Jubaland Kissmayu Arzania state, Gedo ASWJ Alshabab, Ogaden-ONLF, Puntland…All signifying
      to derail and undermine the roadmap agenda Signatories to work in favour of the crooked powers
      of the darodism bloc. doctrine of all the 5star Greater Somaliland and also to degrade the Capital
      Mogadiscio. Then Alshabab fighters as well, whose doctrine would finally go Islah slowly
      craving towards the Muslim Brotherhood of the New Egypt powers under HE President
      DR Mohamed Morsi. Therefore, basically, the major challenges President HSM faces are
      two fold threats viz Darodism and Alshabab power struggles against the SFG policies.
      Somaliland is a third fold outside the scope of the Somalians power struggles….

  2. Mogadishu is burning because the President of Southern Somalia was not elected, he was selected. There are other clan groups who did not approve his presidency. Al-Shabaab terrorist groups will stay on this course to dis-mental the ready made so called president of Mogadishu. These terrorists of Al-Shabaab group have been hiding in the alleys of Mogadishu and assimilated themselves in to the Public arena and very hard to find them.

  3. If the international community really wanted to exterminate shabab Muuqdishu's Presidential seat would have been given to non Hawiye who would mercilessly comb out shabab within days. Shabab support base has infiltrated the NEW government and the attacks may have been directed from within the government.

    Syria is stealing the headlines and with the G8 Promising 1.5Billion to Syria, Hassan Mahamoud's government needed to send a very strong signal that shabab was still a threat. Think about it the Kismanyo issues has suddenly been sidelined too many coincidences.

    Hassan Mahamoud has a Monopoly on both the Government and the opposition… There is no distinction between government soldiers and shabab soldiers.

    • The attacks may have been directed from Somaliland and esp the AL-shabab minister Hersi who is in disbelieve that UNDP seat is moved from Nairobi to Mogadisho. There are other somaliland-alshabab financiers from burao in the news to be involved. We demand full investigation and kudos to Somali national army heros for their never seen before spectacular defense that we saw in pictures.

  4. Breaking a heavy fight took place in Baraawe today between AL'Shaytans themselves.

    Godane has been looking for that Al-America guy for a long time because of his constant rant against him on twitter and he almost got him in the Bay or Bakool cant remember which but survived assassination after being shot in the neck

    Now he found him again in Baraawe but this time he was protected by Robow Aweys and even Afghani with couple foreigners ending up dead and even some websites reporting Afghani died too in that battle.

    Looks like Al'Shaytan are either breaking up into different factions or hopefully heading into a self inflicted extinction.

    • CULUSOW is funding so Mr XAAD Moryaan. the world aware now who fund AL-SHABAB and give protection no secret anymore…

      • It looks like Afghani is not dead but has been arrested by the AlShaytans intelligence services called Amniyaat.

        Who supports this Godane guy cos i do not think it is AQ neither because he keeps killing foreign fighters.

        PS Mo b go and cry in a corner Mr tribalist with a added salt of broken English freak.

        • YEAH-YEAH——-. Samaale/samiili

          This is all show, we know who's supporting AL-SHABAB Culusow and his villa Moryaan resident are behind all these carnage…..——————-……………

          • Irir Samaale this is the thing that I don't get it remember how Godane offered his services to al qaeda leader ayman al-Zawahri but why is he going after the foreign jihadis like Omar Hammami?

            we get it Afghani is a pro Al qaeda since he fought alongside the taliban and al qaeda in afghanistan and supports the foreign jihadists in Somalia but Mukhtar Robow and Daahir Aweys who everybody thought were moderate muslims are in fact support the foreign jihadists.

            I think Godane is not an islamist but a tribalist like Ahmed Mohamed Madoobe he's just there to cause trouble and prevent any Somali central government from taking place until Somaliland receives recognition.

          • @PuntlandGeezer (PIS)

            Its a power struggle between leader Godane and his supporters Shongole Raage etc vs Robow Aweys and even his former right hand man Afghani who are trying to bring him down with both sides having foreigners on their sides.

            But also it is about resources ever since they lost Mogadishu and then Kismayo ports and with Kadafi killed which by the way was 1 of their biggest backers and Eritrea fearing sanctions and the Arabs due to Qatar more leaning with Mogadishu are having $ problems with Godanes proponents accusing him of monopolizing the little that is left.

            What ever is going on one thing is for sure they are on a self destruct mode : )

          • Good dialogue between PIS & IRIR!. Am I wrong to say that alShabab fighters
            whether pro DIR or Darod are controlled by the ICU of Dahir Aweys
            who happen to be the central bore of all the Shabab fighters. Who knows
            Dahir Aweys and his ICU might have become also Islah courting the Muslim
            Brotherhood of Egypt.

          • STOP all this crap. AL-SHABAB have one motive and that is Sharia law.

            This is all full of lies AL-SHABAB fighting between themselves it maybe few incident between very small groups, but the rest of Al-shabab have ONE VISION.

            The head office of Al-shabab is Villa Moryaan everyone knows that.

          • @Cheers/ Irir Smaale

            Dahir Aweys is the godfather of the islamists insurgency in Somalia he's the one who brainwashed and radicalised thousands young somalis around the world to become suicide bombers.

            As long as Al shabaab leaders are out there they will continue to brainwash & indoctrinate young Somalis into their cause.

            To end Al shabaab insurgency the leaders must be killed

            Mukhtaar Rooboow
            Fu'aad Maxamed Khalaf
            Daahir Aweys
            Ali Mohamud Raghe
            Mohamed Said Atom

            Ps check this video out I uploaded about three years ago when al-Shabaab were a national force its called Al-Shabaab Terrorist Is Public Enemy Number One

  5. Denel south africa weapon manufacturer confirms the names of employees killed in Somalia (picture)

    SOUTH AFRICA: The tragic incident which led to three of Denel Mechem employees losing their lives at a United Nations compound in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia yesterday morning will not deter the company from providing much needed humanitarian support as part of international peace-keeping operations.

    Denel confirms the names of the three employees who died in the attack as:

    Morne Lotter, 41, a South African national from Oudtshoorn. He was the Facility Manager at the UN compound.
    Alan Simpson, 53, a South African national from Port Elizabeth. Mr Simpson was the Maintenance Manager.
    Isak Mohammed Osman, a Somali national. Mr Osman was the Electrician.

    The employees were part of the Denel Mechem contingent of staff who worked on a United Nations contract to provide camp management services and logistical support to the UN’s peace-keeping operations in Somalia.

    The Group Chief Executive of Denel SOC, Mr Riaz Saloojee has again expressed his deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the employees. The company is making the necessary arrangements to repatriate their remains at the earliest possible stage and continues to provide full support to the families during this difficult time.

    “Part of the work that Denel does on our continent is the provision of support to international peacekeeping efforts with agencies like the African Union and the United Nations. That includes demining services as Denel Mechem is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of humanitarian demining and disposal of lethal landmines and unexploded ordnance. Our employees are therefore often called upon to work in some of the most dangerous conflict zones,” says Mr Saloojee.

    The safety of Denel employees who work in conflict environments is of primary importance to the company and before any assignment is undertaken all care is taken to ensure their safety in such environments.

    “Our employees are well aware of the inherent dangers attached to their line of work. However they continue with these necessary tasks with a remarkable devotion to duty. I want to pay tribute to our employees who are providing this service working in very dangerous environments to ensure the safety of countless other people as part of South Africa’s contribution to international peace-keeping efforts,” he says.

    The remaining Denel employees in Somalia are not in danger and have been moved to secure facilities under the control of the United Nations Office for Project Services.

    Denel will work together with local and international agencies to investigate the events leading up to the incident in Somalia and will continue to ensure that stringent safety measures are in place to protect employees who work in conflict areas.

    Denel Mechem currently provides humanitarian demining services in a number of African countries, which includes educational programmes to make local communities on the continent aware of the dangers of landmines and explosives.

    Vuyelwa Qinga
    Group Communications Manager
    Cell: +27 (0) 79 511 6257
    Tel: +27 (0) 12 671 2662
    Fax: +27 (0) 12 671 2751