World

9 militants killed in attack on Somali presidential palace

MOGADISHU, Somalia— Nine Al Shabab militants wearing military fatigues and carrying guns and grenades died after attacking the presidential palace with two car bombs on Friday, in an assault the president called a ‘‘media spectacular’’ by a ‘‘dying animal.’’

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was unhurt, but two officials were killed, the interior ministry said.

Advertisement

The attack underscores a worrying new trend in Mogadishu: That despite a period of relative calm following Al Shabab’s ouster from Mogadishu in August 2011, militants have carried out a series of deadly assaults in recent weeks that have seen the city hit with mortar fire and pitched battles.

Weapons meant for the Somali army could have been used by the militants in Friday’s attack. A confidential UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea reported this month that the country’s military is selling weaponry in markets where the Al Qaeda-linked militants buy arms.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

In at least one case weapons were sold by a military commander directly to an Al Shabab commander, the confidential report said.

Friday’s attack against the compound where the president and prime minister live began with a car bomb explosion, followed by an assault by gunmen on palace guards, said police Captain Mohamed Hussein. Al Shabab claimed responsibility.

The Interior Ministry displayed the seven bloodied and dead bodies of the attackers and said two others blew themselves up. The wreckages of two car bombs lay nearby.

Advertisement

Al Shabab has been waging war in Somalia for years as it tries to oust a Western-backed government.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com