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Somalia's President survives major attack by Shebab militants on palace

Published on Feb 21, 2014 7:49 PM

MOGADISHU (AFP) - Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels launched a major suicide commando attack on Friday against the heavily-fortified presidential palace, home to the country's internationally-backed government, police and witnesses said.

A huge car bomb exploded at the perimeter of the central Mogadishu complex, and a group of around a dozen suicide attackers breached the Villa Somalia compound.

Shebab rebels immediately claimed responsibility.

The UN's special envoy to Somalia said the country's president, Mr Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, had telephoned to say he was unharmed in the attack against the complex, one of the best-defended locations in the war-torn country.

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