Attacker blows himself up in Somali presidential compound

09:05, September 21, 2010      

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A suspected Islamist suicide bomber on Monday blew himself up inside the compound of the presidential residence in the Somali capital Mogadishu killing himself and wounding a government soldier, a government official said.

The Somali president is safe, a government official who sought anonymity confirmed to Xinhua.

The attacker did not manage to enter deep into the compound but was able to evade detection at two checkpoints at the front gates of the presidential Palace and blew himself up after he was fired upon by security officers at the last checkpoint, the government official said.

Sources said that the attacker was a former member of the government security forces and that allowed him to pass through much of the security screening at the presidential residence in Mogadishu where Somalia's top officials including the President, the Premier and the speaker of the parliament live.

Her Somali government has not so far officially commented on the attacker while no group has claimed responsibility for the attack but Islamist group opposed to the government often launched similar attacks on Somali government officials.

This is the first attack of its kind on the residence of the top Somali government officials which is heavily guarded by Somali government security forces and African Union (AU) peacekeeping troops supporting the fragile UN-backed government.

Islamist suicide bombers have on a number of previous occasions waged a brazen attack on Somali government officials, killing some and wounding others.

Source: Xinhua


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