Islamists raid Somali police station, at least 28 dead: witnesses

by ABDI SHEIKH, Reuters
November 19, 2013

MOGADISHU — Islamist militants rammed a car bomb into a police compound north of Somalia’s capital on Tuesday and opened fire on officers, leaving at least 28 people dead, officials and witnesses said.

Al Shabaab – the al Qaeda-linked group that claimed responsibility for a deadly raid on a shopping mall in neighboring Kenya in September – said it carried out the morning assault.

Gunfire rang out at the police station in Baladweyne, near the border with Ethiopia, into the early afternoon as locals rushed for cover.

African Union (AU) peacekeepers and Somali troops surrounded the compound and opened fire. Witnesses said the shooting inside then stopped.

Seven civilians, 10 militants and 11 police officers were killed, said Somali government spokesman Abdirahman Osman – figures that were confirmed by several people at the scene.

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