Somalia's government said its troops have retaken the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu Tuesday, after Islamic militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards. After more than two hours of fighting, Somalia's presidency said in a Twitter update that "the shameful attack" had been foiled by Somalia's armed forces and African Union peacekeepers.
It said the "attack is over" and that the compound has since been secured, but gave no details about any casualties or what happened to the militants.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a radio broadcast that its fighters had penetrated the presidential palace. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was not inside the palace at the time of the attack, but the prime minister and the speaker of parliament were, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein, a senior police official. The presidency said both President Mohamud and Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed were safe.
The attack was the second assault on the presidential palace this year, and it marked the first time militants have been able to breach the compound and take offensive positions inside.
- The Associated Press
First published July 8 2014, 1:19 PM