AU condemns Al-Shabaab attack on market

A Somali soldier looks at the Lido beach from the terrace of a restaurant

Al Shabaab, which is affiliated to Al Qaeda, has been fighting to overthrow Somalia's internationally backed government since 2007.

The attack comes hours after Internal Security Minister Mohamed Abukar Islow said he would step down if security forces in the city failed to arrest gunmen who killed five people earlier this week.

"There was a battalion of soldiers but it was a fierce fighting; twin suicide vehicle bombs and hand-to-hand fighting", Captain Osman Ali told Reuters. Al-Shabab claimed 21 had been killed.

A Somali military officer put the number of the dead at 15.

People were killed when a vehicle bomb exploded near a bus stop, police said.




"The attacked soldiers were Somali military and the special forces trained by the United States called Danab". The group also claimed that its fighters seized seven pickup trucks.

The bomb blast reportedly took place inside a auto which was parked outside a restaurant in Mogadishu's Hamarweyne district.

He said the auto exploded just as a minibus carrying civilians was passing by.

Al-Shabaab members were expelled from the Somali capital Mogadishu by African Union peacekeeping forces (AMISOM) in 2011, but are still carrying out daily attacks against AMISOM's base and government including public places.

In the past insurgent group al-Shabaab has claimed attacks in Somalia.

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