Skip to main content

Dozens dead in Somali courthouse attack

From Mohamed Amiin Adow, for CNN
updated 6:36 AM EDT, Mon April 15, 2013
Soldiers walk across a defensive machine gun position on a hotel rooftop in the Yaaqshiid District of Mogadishu.
Soldiers walk across a defensive machine gun position on a hotel rooftop in the Yaaqshiid District of Mogadishu.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Diplomatic officials say 29 people were killed at courthouse, nearly 60 wounded
  • The sources also said nine Al-Shabaab militants died
  • President says terrorists showing signs of desperation
  • Several attacks occurred across Mogadishu

Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- At least 10 heavily armed militants forced their way into a court building Sunday in Mogadishu, Somalia, and launched a deadly attack, according to a local journalist who witnessed the aftermath.

Some of the assailants detonated explosives before others exchanged fire with government security, witnesses said.

Diplomatic sources told CNN that 29 people were killed in the courthouse attack.

At least nine members of the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab were also killed, the sources said. That group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Nearly 60 people were wounded in the skirmish, the officials said.

Somalia's president on 'arc of terror'
An island of hope in war-torn Somalia

"Above all, today's operations ought to drive this unambiguous message home: there is no safe haven for apostates in Mogadishu!" the group said on Twitter, according to a CNN translation.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said called the strike "nothing but a sign of desperation by the terrorists," saying the militants "are in complete decline." The president said the court complex was one of several sites hit.

"We are moving forward, but the enemy of Somalia, the enemy of all mankind, will attempt to set us back and try to prevent us 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," he said.

The regional court was in session at the time of the attack, witnesses said. The building also houses the nation's Supreme Court.

Radio Mogadishu, a state radio service, reported that at least 100 people who were in the building had come out safely.

Somali security officials said two Turkish nationals from a passing aid convoy and two Somali civilians were killed in a car bombing attack near the Mogadishu airport.

Witnesses told CNN there also were fatal bombings at a military intelligence building and a clinic.

Somalia's shaky transitional government, backed by African Union peacekeepers, has been battling Islamist guerrillas for years. The country has lacked an effective central government since 1991, with portions of the Horn of Africa nation left lawless.

Somali rappers defy bullets, death threats for Mogadishu

CNN's Nima Elbagir in Nairobi, Kenya and Amir Ahmed in Atlanta contributed to this story.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
updated 9:31 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
A terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life checks off the last item.
updated 7:40 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
In a plot straight out of Hollywood, federal agents gain access to a suspected Triad boss' Vegas hotel room by pretending to fix the Internet connection.
updated 12:34 AM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
Was it only black and Latino men who harassed a woman in NYC? The filmmaker has found himself in a race controversy.
updated 11:17 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
The history of human rights often overlooks the struggles of gay people. This must change.
updated 9:15 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Armed with Kalashnikovs and chanting for the dead comrades, women are among ISIS' most feared enemies. They are fighting for their families -- and now they are getting U.S. help.
updated 8:46 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Lere Mgayiya put his best foot forward and set up a shoe-shine firm after his career plans fell flat.
updated 1:28 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
One Chinese drone manufacturer wants to take away the warmongering stigma of "drones."
updated 11:12 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Sketcher Luis Simoes is traveling the world -- slowly. And he's packed his sketchbook.
updated 4:43 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
European states help North Korea's brutal treatment of its people by allowing luxury goods like cars and cognacs to evade sanctions, two experts say.
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 7:04 AM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT