Mogadishu - Fighters from Somalia's al-Shabaab group detonated a car bomb and fought their way into a compound where national intelligence agency officials train, police and the militants said on Sunday, as gunfire raged inside.
Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters the fighters had captured the building and "killed many" intelligence agents inside.
"First they hit a car bomb against the gate of the house and then fighters went in the building. Fighting is now going on," Major Nur Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters.
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Hussein said the compound, close to the headquarters of Somalia's national intelligence agency, was also "used by the national security forces for training and lodging".
Al Shabaab wants to topple a Western-backed government in Mogadishu and has in the past stepped up attacks during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began on Wednesday.
The group on Saturday attacked a police post near the capital, killing eight officers.