MOGADISHU, Somalia, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate in Somalia, claimed responsibility for a deadly attack against the presidential palace in the capital city of Mogadishu on Friday.
UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Nick Kay took to Twitter to convey that Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was unharmed in the attack.
President just called me to say he's unharmed. Attack on Villa #Somalia had failed. Sadly some lives lost. I condemn strongly this terrorism— Nick Kay (@Somalia111) February 21, 2014
Police officer Abdi Mohamed told CNN the attack began with an explosive detonation at the palace's gate and was followed by gunfire exchanged by the attackers and security guards. National Security Minister Adbikarin Hussein Guled reported at least 12 dead in the attack, including seven Al-Shabaab militants as well as the prime minister's secretary and the former deputy national intelligence agency chief.