MOGADISHU. Somali police said two government officials, Mohamud hersi Abdulle, the permanent secretary of Somali prime minister and Nur Shirbo, a former senior intelligence commander, were killed in Friday’s attack at the presidential palace.
Somalia’s Minister for National Security said government forces thwarted an attack against the presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu.
Car bomb explosion followed by heavy gunfire hit near the northern gate of the presidential palace in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
Abdelhakim Guled, National Security Minister said that Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeepers captured several Al-Shabaab fighters who attacked the Somali presidency in Mogadishu while others were killed.
“They launched a desperate attack on the presidential palace but the attack was thwarted by our forces who captured some of the attackers alive,” State radio quoted Guled as saying.
The carbomb went off at one of the gates of the presidential residence in Mogadishu before several heavily armed gunmen tried to storm it but was confronted by presidential guards, police officer Mohamoud Yonis told Xinhua.
“Firefight broke out between the guards and the gunmen who were quickly neutralized by our forces,” Yonis said but did not say if there were any casualties.
UN Somalia envoy Nicolas Kay said in a twitter post that Somali president was unharmed and condemned the attack on the presidential palace known as The Villa Somalia.
“President just called me to say he’s unharmed. Attack on Villa Somalia had failed. I condemn strongly this terrorism,” Kay tweeted.
Islamist group of Al-Shabaab have claimed responsibility for the attack on the Villa Somalia. The group is fighting Somali government and African Union peacekeeping troops in the country.