entered a UN
office in the
following a loud
A cameraman outside
the UN Development
told the BBC soldiers
from the African
Union force and Somali army were fighting the
He said a suicide bomber blew up a car at the
entrance to the office, and he saw four gunmen
Islamist militants often target government
facilities in the city.
The AFP news agency is reporting that the
Islamist group al-Shabab, which is part of the al-
Qaeda network, has claimed responsibility for
“Our commandos have attacked the UN
compound… we set off an explosion and have
entered the compound, where we are fighting
with the infidel forces,” it quotes an al-Shabab
official as saying.
The UN Development Programme office is next
to the heavily fortified airport in southern
“A suicide bomber blew himself up at the gate
of the UNDP and then several armed fighters
went in and opened fire,” a senior police official
told the Reuters news agency.
Some 18,000 African Union troops are in Somalia
helping provide security
The cameraman, who asked not to be named for
security reasons, told the BBC Somali Service
that some people had been wounded in the
blast and he had personally helped three people
to a military ambulance.
Residents in the area have fled and some
buildings were seriously damaged after the
vehicle exploded, he said.
It is unclear whether any UN officials have been
caught up in the gun battle, but foreigners and
Somalis are known to work at the UNDP office,
the cameraman said.
As he was talking to the BBC, gunshots could
be heard in the background.
The cameraman said a number of security
experts had joined the AU and Somali soldiers
in tackling the militants.
Al-Shabab withdrew from Mogadishu in August
2011 under pressure from pro-government
forces, but continue to launch occasional
suicide attacks in the city.
The improving security situation has prompted
the return of Somalis from the diaspora and
allowed UN agencies and foreign embassies to
return to the country.
Some 18,000 AU troops are in the country
supporting the new UN-backed government