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11 Killed as Militants Attack Prison in Somalia

  • VOA News

Somali government soldiers hold their position against suspected militants during an attack at the Jilacow underground cell inside a national security compound in Mogadishu, Aug. 31, 2014.

At least 11 people are dead after Somali security forces repelled an attack on a prison housing al-Shabab militants in Mogadishu.

Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack Sunday that targeted a prison run by Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency.

Gunmen stormed the facility after a car bomb exploded outside the main prison gate. Witnesses tell VOA's Somali Service that security forces killed all the attackers and no prisoners escaped.

A spokesman for Somalia's Ministry of National Security, Mohamed Yusuf Osman, says the dead include a civilian, three security guards and seven al-Shabab militants.

The al-Qaida-linked militant group has steadily lost territory to African Union and Somali government forces during the past four years, but remains a threat to Somalia's stability.

The group's fighters have killed six members of Somalia's parliament this year and carried out two assaults on the presidential palace, Villa Somalia.