The car bomb rammed into a concrete barrier in front of the presidential palace

A huge car bomb has exploded at the gate of Somalia’s presidential palace, followed by a fierce gun battle inside, officials say.

At least two senior officials and nine attackers are reported dead but the security minister told the BBC the situation was “under control”.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has told the UN envoy to Somalia he was not harmed, envoy Nick Kay has tweeted.

The al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab has said it carried out the attack.

‘Scattered human flesh’

BBC Somalia analyst Mohamed Mohamed says this is the first time that al-Shabab fighters have entered the presidential palace, known as Villa Somalia.

Another police officer, Hussein Farah, told Reuters there were about 10 assailants, wearing uniforms similar to that of the presidential guards.

“All the Shabab fighters perished, some blew up themselves while others were shot dead. Several government guards also died,” he said.

“Now the fighting is over, and scattered on the scene is human flesh and blood.”

Security Minister Abdi Karim Hussein told the BBC Somali service that all of the country’s leaders were safe.

Senior officials in the prime minister’s office and security services are said to have been killed.


Al-Shabab military spokesman Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab said militants were still in control of some buildings inside the presidential compound.

“Our commandos have attacked the so-called presidential palace in order to kill or arrest those who who are inside,” he told the AFP news agency.

Mr Kay said the attack on Villa Somalia had “failed”.

“Sadly some lives lost. I condemn strongly this terrorism,” he said.

Al-Shabab was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 but it still controls many smaller towns and rural areas of the country and stages periodic attacks in Mogadishu.

Some 22,000 African Union troops are helping the government battle al-Shabab.



  1. Al-Shabaab are not foreigners as they would like to project it towards their western donors. This group lives even within the "presidential palace" and will strike at will. They should admit their failure to accept the realities of Somalis, and work with the locals instead.

    Somali officials all recruited from the west acting as new colonials will not help the UN bring peace to Hawiye controlled areas of Somalia.

  2. A very sad day indeed for Somalia if Al-Shabaab has the capacity to strike Villa Somalia hassan sheikh mohamud is a failure under his leadership Al shabaab has resurgence as powerful than ever before he must go.

  3. Such deadly attacks shows that Alshabab rebel dissidents are stronger than thought
    and that the FGS continues to be in subjugated limbo?

  4. Shabaab demonstrated their capacity to attack wherever they want to kills who ever they want. This indicate that they cannot be dismantled easily. What made me very sad more than the devastation of the attack on V.Som was the dead bodies of misguided children that accomplish the evil acts for this terror group. Criminals like Alidhere, Godane etc have their own kids, but they keep them in safe and comfortable places while they use poor Somali children as suicide bombers.

  5. Plain and simple they have al shabab working within the government, you cant keep having all these attacks within government compounds without having inside information, on how many guards are on duty, what fire power they have, what targets are present etc

    If they want this to stop then they need to get serious about vetting their personnel, cause the last time something like this happened they found official army issue uniforms at the terrorists compound, someone is working with them.

    If they dont want Somalis to end up like Afghans being ruled by crack pot Islamists then they need to get serious and stop stealing aid money and put it to use by actually getting rid of these rats.