MOGADISHU, Somalia – A barrage of bullets and two car bomb blasts rattled Mogadishu on Sunday when nine al-Shabab Islamic extremists stormed Somalia’s main court complex, officials said, in a two-hour attack that shows the country’s most dangerous militant group may be down but not defeated.
A preliminary death toll stood at 16, including all nine attackers.
The government didn’t immediately publicize the number of security forces, government employees and civilians who died during the attack.
The assault was the most serious in Mogadishu since al-Shabab was forced out of the capital in August 2011.
Al-Shabab controls far less territory today than in recent years, and its influence appears to be on the decline, but Sunday’s attack proved the extremists are still capable of pulling off well-planned, audacious assaults.