At least nine people, including three al-Shabaab attackers, were killed when twin bomb blasts targeted the Interior Ministry building in Mogadishu on Saturday.
The police revealed that the attackers who are believed to be militants from al-Shabaab terrorist network had gained access to the building.
Col. Ahmed Mohamed says the death toll could rise as security forces continue to battle several gunmen holed up inside.
Witnesses said government workers were among those killed in the first attack. The group was blamed for the October truck bombing that killed more than 500 people in the deadliest attack in the country's history.
Smoke is seen rising above the scene of the compound of Somalia's interior and security ministries, following a deadly attack by al-Shabab, July 7, 2018.
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Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda told reporters the rescued boys were in good health in hospital but did not give details. So far the only direct contact has been through handwritten notes from the boys - and replies from their parents.
The U.S. military and others in the global community have expressed concern about the plan for Somalia's security forces to take over the country's security from a multinational African Union force over the next few years, saying the local troops are not yet ready.
The Shabaab militants were forced out of the Somali capital in 2011 but still launch regular gun and bomb attacks on government, military and civilian targets in Mogadishu.
A second blast nearby occurred opposite a police building, a police source said.
In a statement posted on a jihadist website, the Al-Qaeda aligned Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility.
Osman Sheikh Ali was killed near Baraawe town, while three others also were wounded in the attack. But they have not yet claimed responsibility for Saturday's blasts.
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