21 February 2014

Uganda: Al Shabaab Hit Somalia Presidential Palace

Armed men wearing suicide vests have attacked the presidential palace in Mogadishu, killing scores of people.

The militants, believed to be Al Shabaab, are reported to have used a car filled with bombs to ram into the barricade outside the presidential palace, and then tried to fight their way in amid resistance from presidential guards.

The president, obviously the most high profile target of the attack, is reported to be unharmed. Details regarding the number of attackers and casualties are not yet clear.

The top UN official in Somalia Nick Kay tweeted: "President just called me to say he's unharmed. Attack on Villa#Somalia had failed. Sadly some lives lost. I condemn strongly this terrorism."

African Union peacekeepers led by Uganda have been fighting to restore order in Somalia since 2007 but despite significant success such as driving the militants out of Mogadishu two years ago, Al Shabaab still control vast parts of the Somali countryside and are capable of launching attacks such as this in the capital.

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