MOGADISHU, Somalia — A suicide bomber detonated explosives outside the prime minister’s home in Somalia’s presidential palace compound Tuesday morning, killing two people, an official said.
The man blew himself up when he was questioned by soldiers manning a checkpoint in the palace complex known as Villa Somalia, said Mohamed Ali, a police officer at the official residence in Mogadishu, the capital. Militants linked to Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack.
Villa Somalia has a large compound with several buildings and checkpoints. The bomber was four more checkpoints away from President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s home, Ali said. The president is said to be out of the country on state business.
The checkpoint where the blast took place is near Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon’s home, which is also in the compound, according to officials. Shirdon was at home but was not harmed, said an official from the palace who insisted on anonymity.
Shirdon later released a statement read by Somalia’s information minister saying one soldier was killed in the attack and the attacker is believed to be an operative of the al-Shabab insurgent group.
‘‘This inhumane and barbaric attack shows once again the cruel twisted ideology of killing and destruction by the al-Shabab,’’ Shirdon said.