Somalia’s al Shabab militant group has launched a heavy attack on a military base in Mogadishu on Sunday, targeting a training centre for intelligence officials,
Dozens of intelligence officials were reportedly killed in the attack, according to the Reuters news agency.
A witness told Reuters that an explosion was followed by heavy gunfire early in the centre of the capital Mogadishu, where National Intelligence and Security Agency headquarters is located.
Later, al Shabab's military operations spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters "We captured the building and we are fighting inside it," before Somali authorities claimed to have regained the control of the base.
According to government sources, a car bomb was destroyed before it reached the target and two al Shabab fighters were killed. No casualties were reported for security forces.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Yusuf said that security forces had successfully repulsed the attackers.
"They were trying to storm the premises but they have been taken out before they reached their objective. There was no casualty on our side," he told reporters.
In another incident, al Shabab fighters killed at least eight officers in an attack on a police station near the capital city on Saturday, police and al Shabab militants confirmed.
"Al Shabab killed eight of my colleagues and took three of our cars," Major Abdikadir Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters.
The attack on Afgoi town, 30 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu, was claimed by al Shabab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group which seeks to depose the Western-backed government in Mogadishu.