Attack on U.N. compound in Somalia called 'barbaric'
June 19, 2013 -- Updated 1820 GMT (0220 HKT)
Somali soldiers patrol after al Qaeda-linked insurgents shoot their way into the U.N. compound in Mogadishu on June 19.
- Civilians, militants and U.N. employees were killed; 15 people were wounded
- Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack
- The African Union says the compound has been secured
Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- At least 14 people died and 15 others were wounded in an attack on the U.N. headquarters in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Wednesday.
Seven militants, four U.N. employees and three female civilians were killed, said Abdikarim Hussein Guled, the country's interior and national security minister. The other victims were rushed to a hospital.
Al-Shabaab, the militant group linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility, the group said on Twitter.
Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon deplored the "senseless and despicable" assault against an agency that has been a friend and partner.
2012: The battle against al-Shabaab
"I and all Somalis are appalled that they should be the target and victims of such barbaric violence," Shirdon said.
It was the latest in a series of attacks in the city, the heart of an unstable nation beset with civil strife, with government and African Union forces battling Islamic militants for years in an effort to bring stability to the land.
Last month, a suicide bomber targeted a Qatari delegation, killing at least eight people. Al-Shabaab also claimed responsibility for that strike.
In April, militants forced their way into a court building in Mogadishu and killed 29 people, including members of Al-Shabaab, sources said.
Police Officer Hussein Ahmed said that in Wednesday's violence, one attacker blew himself up at the entrance of the U.N. compound, which is near the city's airport.
Others wearing suicide vests entered the U.N. compound. He said Somali and AU forces surrounded the building and fought with the armed assailants.
The attack devastated the area. Mangled buses and cars sat in disfigured heaps, the windows of nearby apartments shattered, the ground littered with blood and body parts.
A large brown plume of smoke was visible in the air as ambulances rushed to the scene and carried away the wounded.
The compound has now been secured and is in the hands of AU troops, the official Twitter account of the African Union Mission to Somalia said. Shirdon also assured city residents that the government remains in control of security and underscored the swift action by the forces against the attackers.
"All our thoughts and prayers are with our U.N. colleagues today," Shirdon said. "Al-Shabaab will not derail the peace process. They will not stop our recovery. Violence will not win."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
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.