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US condemns 'cowardly' Shebab attack in Somalia

African Union troops arrive in an armoured vehicle during an attack on the Somali parliament in Mogadishu, on May 24, 2014
African Union troops arrive in an armoured vehicle during an attack on the Somali parliament in Mogadishu, on May 24, 2014

The US government on Saturday condemned a "cowardly" Shebab rebel attack in Somalia that left at least 10 people dead.

"The United States strongly condemns today's Al-Shebab attack on the Somali parliament," said the US State Department's deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.

"We continue to stand firmly with the federal government of Somalia and the many international partners working to support its efforts to root out the threat posed by Al-Shebab, and to build a more secure and prosperous future for the Somali people," Harf said in a statement.

"Cowardly acts such as these will not shake our resolve."

Somali army soldiers walk next to the Somali parliament in Mogadishu after an attack, on May 24, 2014
Somali army soldiers walk next to the Somali parliament in Mogadishu after an attack, on May 24, 2014

The attack occurred when rebels set off a car bomb and stormed the building wearing suicide vests. It took Somali security forces and African Union troops more than four hours to end it.

Authorities did not immediately provide an overall death toll but a police official and government source said 10 people, including several attackers, were confirmed dead.

Harf said US officials "extend our sympathies and condolences to those affected by this heinous act of terrorism, and commend Somali and African Union forces for their swift and courageous response."

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