Mogadishu, June 18 (IANS) Eight gunmen, believed to be Al Shabaab militants, died in an attempted suicide attack on a conference venue in the town of Adado in central Somalia on Thursday.
The attackers raided the venue of the ongoing State Formation Conference, sparking a fierce gunfight, Osman Adde, a security official, told Xinhua news agency.
“Four of them blew themselves up, and a car bomb exploded outside the gate. The attackers exchanged fire with security forces, and then we forced them to flee from the place,” Adde said adding that four others died of gunshot wounds later.
“During the attack, there was no meeting going on in the hall. We will fight terrorist groups to destroy them permanently,” he said.
A local resident Dahir Shoute said he saw huge smoke billowing from the scene and heard heavy gunfire. The explosion caused tension in the town and forced many residents to flee for their safety.
“I was near the scene, and I heard a huge explosion followed by heavy gunfire. The situation was very tense at the moment,” Shoute said.
Al Shabaab militants have reportedly vowed to step up attacks on government bases and African peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu during the holy month of Ramadan.