Al Shabaab attacks UN compound in Somalia's capital

Al Shabaab attacks UN compound in Somalia's capital

MOGADISHU - Anadolu Agency
Al Shabaab attacks UN compound in Somalias capital

Al Shabaab soldiers sit outside a building during patrol along the streets of Dayniile district in Southern Mogadishu, March 5, 2012. (REUTERS Photo)

A heavily fortified compound in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu was attacked by al Shabaab militants on March 18, local media reported.

Local broadcaster Dalsan Radio said mortar shells were fired at the Halane compound, which houses U.N., EU, and African Union facilities, as well as embassies of countries including the U.S. and U.K.

Bashir Ahmed Ali, a police officer in Mogadishu, confirmed the attack Anadolu Agency but did not provide details on any casualties.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) also tweeted a confirmation later, but said the “mortar rounds landed in the vicinity” of the compound.

“Following standard procedures, security personnel are in the process of assessing any potential damage or injuries. We will communicate more details as they become available,” UNSOM said in the tweet.

In a statement online, al Shabaab took responsibility for the attack, claiming it fired five mortar shells at the compound and there were several casualties.

The Somalia-based al Shabaab, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda, also attacked the Halane compound in February.

The group had claimed there were casualties, but none were reported by the institutions located inside the protected zone.