Two government officials were killed after militants launched an assault on the presidential palace in the Somali capital Mogadishu, officials said Friday, in an attack claimed by the al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab.
Nine al-Shabaab militants dressed in military fatigues also died after attacking the presidential palace with twin car bombs and exchanging fire with security forces.
"A suicide bomber rammed a car full of explosives into the perimeter wall of the presidential palace and another one with heavily armed men penetrated the area where the first one hit," said Ahmed Moalim Adan, a security official near the scene of the attack.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was unharmed, but two government officials
were killed, the interior ministry said.
Al-Shabaab militants have carried out a series of deadly suicide bombings in Mogadishu in recent weeks and claimed responsibility for the attack shortly after the fighting began.
"We targeted the so-called presidential palace. Our fighters are fighting inside the palace compound," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters.
The al Shabaab rebel group were pushed out of the Somali capital about two years ago but have since waged a sustained guerrilla campaign.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-02-21