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Gunmen haveentered a UNoffice in theSomali capital,Mogadishu, firingtheir weapons,following a loudexplosion,witnesses havesaid.A cameraman outsidethe UN DevelopmentProgramme officetold the BBC soldiersfrom the AfricanUnion force and Somali army were fighting themen inside.He said a suicide bomber blew up a car at theentrance to the office, and he saw four gunmenenter.Islamist militants often target governmentfacilities in the city.The AFP news agency is reporting that theIslamist group al-Shabab, which is part of the al-Qaeda network, has claimed responsibility forthe attack.”Our commandos have attacked the UNcompound… we set off an explosion and haveentered the compound, where we are fightingwith the infidel forces,” it quotes an al-Shababofficial as saying.The UN Development Programme office is nextto the heavily fortified airport in southernMogadishu.”A suicide bomber blew himself up at the gateof the UNDP and then several armed fighterswent in and opened fire,” a senior police officialtold the Reuters news agency.Some 18,000 African Union troops are in Somaliahelping provide securityThe cameraman, who asked not to be named forsecurity reasons, told the BBC Somali Servicethat some people had been wounded in theblast and he had personally helped three peopleto a military ambulance.Residents in the area have fled and somebuildings were seriously damaged after thevehicle exploded, he said.It is unclear whether any UN officials have beencaught up in the gun battle, but foreigners andSomalis are known to work at the UNDP office,the cameraman said.As he was talking to the BBC, gunshots couldbe heard in the background.The cameraman said a number of securityexperts had joined the AU and Somali soldiersin tackling the militants.Al-Shabab withdrew from Mogadishu in August2011 under pressure from pro-governmentforces, but continue to launch occasionalsuicide attacks in the city.The improving security situation has promptedthe return of Somalis from the diaspora andallowed UN agencies and foreign embassies toreturn to the country.Some 18,000 AU troops are in the countrysupporting the new UN-backed government

Gunmen have
entered a UN
office in the
Somali capital,
Mogadishu, firing
their weapons,
following a loud
explosion,
witnesses have
said.
A cameraman outside
the UN Development
Programme office
told the BBC soldiers
from the African
Union force and Somali army were fighting the
men inside.
He said a suicide bomber blew up a car at the
entrance to the office, and he saw four gunmen
enter.
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
the attack.
“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
Mogadishu.
“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

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