MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — At least 13 people are dead after an attack on the U.N. compound in Somalia today by seven militants with links to al-Qaida.
The militants also died. They had attacked the compound with a truck bomb, and then gunmen rushed in to continue the attack.
Dozens of staff members from U.N. humanitarian and development agencies were in the compound at the time. Many of them were moved to a secure bunker.
A U.N. spokesman says one international U.N. staff member, three contractors and four Somali security guards died inside the compound. A number of Somali citizens were killed and wounded outside. African Union and Somali security forces responded and took control of the compound about an hour after the attack began.
The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, calling the U.N. "a merchant of death."
The attack will force the U.N. and embassies to review safety plans in Mogadishu, and decide if they would be able to withstand a sustained assault from al-Shabab.
GRAPHICSBANK: African Union peacekeeper takes position outside main UN compound following attach by Al-Qaida-linked militants, Mogadishu, Somalia, graphic element on gray (19 Jun 2013)
APPHOTO NAI104: African Union peacekeepers take position outside the main U.N. compound, following an attack on it in Mogadishu, Somalia Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Al-Qaida-linked militants detonated multiple bomb blasts and engaged in ongoing battles with security forces in an attempt to breach the main U.N. compound in Mogadishu, officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh) (19 Jun 2013)
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