After a car bomb caused a large explosion at a government facility's gate, gunmen stormed Somalia's education ministry building and opened fire on people inside Tuesday, according to a report from CNN. The building is located in the busy section of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, and black smoke could be seen rising in the air. A spokesman for al Shabab, whose violent quest to establish an Islamic state has long plagued the East African country, said the militant group was behind the attack, BBC reported.
The attack began when a car filled with explosives was driven to a wall of the ministry building and exploded, according to BBC. CNN reported gunshots could still be heard, and people are reportedly still trapped inside the building. BBC said that at least seven people have been killed, according to witness accounts.
Agence France-Presse reported that al Shabab spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab said the gunmen were "fully in control." Al Shabab has al Qaeda ties. The militant group's actions have bled outside Somalia's borders in recent years, particularly against neighboring Kenya, whose government in 2011 launched an offensive against the group. Al Shabab was behind the massacre at Garissa University College in Kenya earlier this month that left 148 people dead after a day-long standoff with authorities.