Somali prime minister survives suicide bomb attack


Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab recruits walk down a street on Mar. 5, 2012 in the Deniile district of the Somalian capital, Mogadishu, following their graduation.


Mohamed Abdiwahab

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid survived a suicide bomber attack outside the presidential palace.

"The prime minister is safe and unharmed, but five security guards" may have been killed in the explosion today, lawmaker Abdullahi Omar Abdshir said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.

According to Voice of America, Somali militant group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the Tuesday attack. A statement on the group's website said the blast killed seven security agents, but Somali officials reported that the bomber killed himself and one soldier, while three other soldiers were injured.

More from GlobalPost: Inside Somalia

Eyewitnesses said a guard was killed while trying to fight off the attacker, reported CNN. The explosion also shattered windows of nearby buildings.

VOA said that British Ambassador to Somalia Matt Baugh condemned the bombing and noted his support for the Somali government.

"It's yet another sad and horrific piece of evidence to show that there are those in Somalia who are against peace and stability of this country," he said. "And we stand resolutely with both the federal government of Somalia and the people of Somalia in helping them achieve a more peaceful, more stable country."