Somali forces end hours-long terrorist attack at Mogadishu airport

Al-Shabaab said it was behind the attack, which underscores the capital's precarious security situation as AU troops prepare for a pullback from the frontlines after a 15-year war against the terrorist group.

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Somali forces end hours-long terrorist attack at Mogadishu airport

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia's security forces on Wednesday ended an about two hours-long attack by the Al-Shabaab Islamist militant group on Mogadishu airport, which is under AU troops’ protection.

Explosions rang out as the gunmen lobbed grenades and exchanged gunfire with Somali security forces, setting ablaze one marine gate to the compound, according to officials and witnesses at the scene.

All flights to and from Aden Abdulle International airport were temporarily suspended based on instructions from the Somali Civil Aviation Authority due to the terrorist attack, said an airport staffer.

The staffer who asked not to be named added that two armed Al-Shabaab attackers were holed up inside the complex for three hours, surrounded by special police forces before they were taken down.

The gunmen who were dressed in Somali army uniform made their way into the airport from the marine gate after shooting at the Somali and AMISOM soldiers, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein, a police officer.

Al-Shabaab said it was behind the attack, which underscores the capital's precarious security situation as AU troops prepare for a pullback from the frontlines after a 15-year war against the terrorist group.

In a statement on its pro-media outlets, Al-Shabaab said it was carrying out an operation inside the Halane compound, which is hosting foreign diplomatic missions and aid agencies.

Several soldiers were reportedly wounded during the attack which comes amid the ongoing parliamentary election in Somalia with the government leaders turning their eyes on their re-election instead of security.

The terror group was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds in the south and central regions of Somalia during a joint offensive by Somalia and AU forces.

KEYDMEDIA English 

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