Suicide attack kills two Somali troops

January 30, 2013 - 3:20:17 am

MOGADISHU: An Islamist militant yesterday blew himself up near the gates of the Somali Presidential Palace, killing at least two soldiers, witnesses and rebels said.

Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab rebels said the early morning suicide attack was the start of a new campaign against the country’s Western-backed government and its leaders.

Palace officials said Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was abroad at the time and Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid, whose house was near the site of the explosion, was not injured.

The attack was a reminder of the threat still posed by 

Al Shabaab, even after African peacekeepers pushed it out of the capital last year and forced it to retreat to the south. It was the first explosion reported this year in Mogadishu, where the fragile government is struggling to impose any sense of order.