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Africa

Gunmen and bombers raid Somali court, killing at least 10

Security forces have engaged in a firefight with gunmen and bombers in Mogadishu, Somalia, following an attack on the capital’s main courthouse. At least 10 have been killed.

Gunmen and bombers have attacked the law courts in Mogadishu, killing at least ten people. Two car bombs were used by men who then besieged the compound under gunfire.

A battle with security forces ensued.

“Armed men entered the court and then we heard a blast. Then they started opening fire. We do not know the number of casualties,” Hussein Ali, who works in the complex, told the Reuters news agency.

Militants suspected

It is unclear who was responsible for the attack, but al-Shebab militants linked to al Qaeda have claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the past year.

The extremist rebels ruled Mogadishu from 2006 to August 2011, when they were pushed out of the city by African Union and Somali forces.

The court complex is located near the city’s administrative headquarters, which is more heavily guarded.

Scared for their lives

Survivors filtered out of the complex a few hours after the attack began, some in tears.

“I never expected to make it out alive today,” Halima Geddi told the AP news agency. She fled the complex about two hours after the attack. She said she had taken cover behind an outer wall. "There is no peace. No one protects us.”

The attack began shortly after noon, with the battle between security forces lasting more than two hours.

Shortly after the attack on the court, a car bomb was detonated along the road to the airport as Turkish and African Union vehicles were passing, police and witnesses said.

tm/kms (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)