At least 11 people were killed today and a number of others wounded when al-Shabaab attacked the presidential palace of the Somali government in the cpaital city of Mogadishu.
The group smashed the gate with a car bomb, and armed fighters stormed through the gate, sparking a protracted gunbattle. The palace is more than just the home of President Hassan Mohammud, but also houses several government ministries.
President Mohammud was unharmed, and downplayed the incident, saying al-Shabaab is a “marginal group on the brink of extinction.” Police also reported fighting at the home of Gen. Dahir Qarshe, next to the palace.
Among the slain were the chief of staff of the prime minister as well as a former intelligence chief. Six militants were slain. Most government compounds in Somalia are within a couple of square blocks, reflecting how long the self-proclaimed government held only a few blocks along the shore of Mogadishu.