Al-Shabab militants have stormed Somalia's parliament building, where they set off a car bomb and other explosives during an attack that left at least 18 people dead.
Police spokesman Kasim Ahmed Roble told VOA Somali Service 10 security force officers with Somali forces and AMISOM were among those killed during Saturday's attack on the heavily fortified building in Mogadishu. He said 14 were wounded, along with four lawmakers.
Ahmed Roble said at least eight of the attackers were killed.
Al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, which lasted several hours.
Witnesses say lawmakers were meeting inside the building when a car bomb exploded near the entrance. Then came more blasts and gunfire from attackers dressed in police and military uniforms.
One member of parliament, defense committee chairman Hussein Arab Isse, said there was advance warning about the attack from Somalia's internal security committee, which called for tighter security. However, he said the report apparently "was not taken seriously."
Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed condemned the attack, which he said showed that terrorists are "against all Somalis." He said such "cowardly, despicable" acts are not "a demonstration of the true Islamic faith."
The prime minister applauded the "swift response" from Somalia's military and security units from AMISOM, the African Union force in Somalia.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's office reported he condemned the violence and said there could be no justification for such attacks.
Al-Shabab at one point held large parts of Somalia, but was pushed out of major cities by the AU forces and Somali government.
The group has continued to carry out attacks, including an assault on the presidential palace in Mogadishu in February that left at least 17 people dead.