Violence rocks UN office in Mogadishu Somalia

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PostThu Jun 20, 2013 6:46 pm » by grimghost

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An attack on the UN Compound in the Somali capital Mogadishu has claimed fifteen lives and left dozens of others injured. This is the deadliest attack staged in Mogadishu in months. Local al-Shebab fighters have claimed responsibility for the raid.

The government says among the dead are four foreign staffers working with the UN. The Wednesday attack ended a two month duration of peace that brought back life to Mogadishu.

Al-Shabaab fighters launched the attack that was similar to another one that killed more than thirty five people at a Mogadishu courthouse in April.

Joint security forces from the Somali elite paramilitary, the police backed by AMISOM troops and armoured vehicles engaged the gunmen in a deadly shootout that lasted more than an hour.

The UN compound is on the airport road and is among the most heavily fortified zones in Mogadishu. It also lies a hundred meters away from the international airport that serves as the AU command center.

The UN Security Council, the African Union and the Somali government all condemned the latest bombing on the UN compound terming it as a cowardly attack on civilians.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a statement termed Al-Shabaab as a disgrace to Somalia. He says that Al-Shabaab attack on innocent civilians will not derail the emerging peace in Somalia.

The Wednesday attack on the UN compound comes at a time the world body is in the process of relocating the bulk of its international staff from neighboring Kenya to the Somali capital Mogadishu for the first time in two decades.

The UN recently formed its assistance mission to Somalia, UNSOM. Analysts say that challenges like the Wednesday attack is what the new mission has to overcome as it seeks to push the nation on its path to recovery after more than two decades of civil war.

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