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Somali education ministry comes under attack

Police in the Somali capital have reported explosions and gunfire at the Somalia's education ministry. No official death toll has been given, but eyewitnesses have reported casualties.

The assault, which occurred on Tuesday morning local time, began with a suicide car bombing, according to early reports by police.

"A car loaded with explosives rammed the gate and there is gunfire inside the building of the ministry," police official Mohamed Dahir told AFP news agency.

Security forces were engaged in fighting with the militants and were finally able to secure the complex, which houses two ministries, after roughly an hour.

A government spokesperson later said that at least eight civilans and two soldiers had been killed.

The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab, which stages frequent terrorist attacks in the capital, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Last week, it

targeted a hotel

in Mogadishu frequented by politicians.

The al-Qaeda-linked organization seeks to extend its control over Somalia and neighboring countries. It controlled Mogadishu between 2007 and 2011 but was pushed out but government and African Union (AU) forces.

Kenya, who has provided support to the AU forces, has increasingly become a

target of brutal terror attacks

over the past year.

kms/jil (AFP, Reuters)

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