An attack by Islamic extremist fighters Somali government headquarters on Monday has left 20 dead and 36 wounded.
The Somalia-based al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack in Beledweyne, a town more than 300 kilometres north of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
"Heavy and disastrous explosions in Beledweyne district have killed people including government officials, civilians and soldiers", said Bishar Hussein Jimale, Beledweyne Police Commissioner.
Local resident Adam Osman showed defiance.
"We will not cry and shout out; and this will not frighten us even if they kill hundreds or millions. We still believe that we are fighting because it is Jihad (holy war) for the sake of Allah, these terrorists might make us scared but we will fight you to the death", he said.
Earlier on Monday Somalia’s government announced the death of a top al-Shabab leader, Abdullahi Nadir, over the weekend.
The government said the attack had been carried out in partnership with the U.S. military in southwest Somalia.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack and reaffirmed the U.N.'s commitment to peace in the country.