Troops retake stormed Somali presidential palace

World Today

Somali soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia on Wednesday, July, 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh).

Somalia’s government says the country’s presidential compound has been secured following a militant attack.

Somali troops retook the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu after militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards Tuesday, the latest attack underscoring the threat posed by Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in East Africa.

CCTV’s Mohammed Hirmoge reports from Mogadishu.

Troops retake stormed Somali presidential palace

In Somalia, where the presidential palace is under attack by Al-Qaeda linked terrorist. CCTV reporter Mohamed Hirmoge has the details.

Somali presidential palace on Google Maps

Smoke billowed from inside the heavily-fortified presidential compound, and loud explosions and gunfire could be heard as troops tried to repel the intruders. 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 fighting alongside African Union peacekeepers.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

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 presidential compound, which also houses several government offices, has been the subject of many attacks by al-Qaida-linked militants over the years. However, it is considered one of the safest places in Mogadishu because of the tight security presence.

The presidency said that the compound has since been secured, but gave no details about any casualties or what happened to the militants. 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.