Skip to main content

Dozens dead in Somali courthouse attack

From Mohamed Amiin Adow, for CNN
April 15, 2013 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
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
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)
Action needs to be taken immediately before affected states potentially collapse, says campaigner Bob Geldof.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Australian PM Tony Abbott vows to "shirt-front" Russia's Putin over the MH17 disaster.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
Serbia and Albania try to play but the major game is called off after a drone flying a political flag enters the stadium.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
George Clooney's new wife, is now Amal Clooney, raising the issue of married names.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1757 GMT (0157 HKT)
The mysterious unmanned X-37B space plane returns to Earth after more than two years in space. But the U.S. Air force isn't saying much.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is getting the wrong message out.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1541 GMT (2341 HKT)
It's no longer necessary to launch your startup in Silicon Valley -- thanks to the internet, you can do it anywhere.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0900 GMT (1700 HKT)
From a "democracy wall" to a towering "Umbrella man" statue, see the best art from the massive protests in Hong Kong.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT