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The Latest: Somali forces end attack by Islamic extremists

March 23, 2019
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Somali government soldiers run to take positions during ongoing fighting with gunmen after a suicide car bomb attack on a government building in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Saturday, March 23, 2019. Al-Shabab gunmen stormed into the government building following a suicide car bombing at the gates on Saturday, a police officer said, in the latest attack by Islamic extremist fighters in the Horn of Africa nation. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The Latest on an extremist attack in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A Somali police officer says security forces have ended a siege by Islamic militants of a government building in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein confirmed that at least five people were killed in the siege that began Saturday morning, including the East African country’s deputy minister of labor.

He said at least 10 other people were wounded in the attack that started with a suicide car bombing and then gunfire as five attackers stormed the Mogadishu building that houses the ministries of labor and public works.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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3:10 p.m.

A Somali police officer says five people, including the country’s deputy labor minister, have been killed in an Islamic extremist attack on a government building in the capital.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the minister, Saqar Ibrahim Abdalla, was killed in his ground-floor office shortly after gunmen stormed the building in Mogadishu.

At least five gunmen stormed the building after a suicide car bombing at the gates.

Somali security forces, fighting to take control of the building, were exchanging fire with the militants.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

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1:30 p.m.

Dozens of people in Somalia’s capital are believed to be trapped inside a government building amid an Islamic extremist attack.

Gunmen stormed Somalia’s ministries of labor and works after a suicide bombing at the gates of the building in Mogadishu, which is near the headquarters of the country’s intelligence agency. There has been no word on casualties. Saturday is a working day in Somalia.

Police say five gunmen are involved in the attack and that security forces are fighting to neutralize them. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group has claimed responsibility, saying it has fighters inside the building.

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11:50 a.m.

An explosion has been heard in the Somali capital, scene of frequent attacks by Islamic extremist fighters.

Witnesses said Saturday the blast was heard near the headquarters of the Somali intelligence agency in Mogadishu.

Somali police didn’t immediately provide more information.

The Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab frequently carries out suicide bomb attacks targeting public places and government offices.

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