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Gunmen in major attack on Somalia's presidential palace: police

Published on Jul 9, 2014 12:54 AM

MOGADISHU (AFP) - Heavily armed militants launched a major bomb attack and armed assault against Somalia's heavily-fortified presidential palace late Tuesday, police and witnesses said.

The attack bore all the hallmarks of Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels, who have launched a string of strikes against the country's internationally-backed but fragile government.

"There was an attack on the presidential palace, with gunmen attacking a checkpoint at the rear of the compound," police officer Ali Hussein told AFP.

"There was a major explosion and security forces are fighting them," he added, without confirming if the insurgents had managed to enter the city centre compound, known as the Villa Somalia.

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