- Title: SOMALIA: Somali president and Kenyan Foreign Minister escape deadly bomb attack.
- Date: 12th September 2012
- Summary: ++PLEASE NOTE: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES++ MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (SEPTEMBER 12, 2012) (REUTERS) WIDE OF STREET, ARMED SOLDIER WALKING WITH SMOKING BILLOWING FROM JAZEERA PALACE HOTEL
- Embargoed: 27th September 2012 13:00
- Location: Somalia
- Country: Somalia
- Topics: Crime,International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAC7Z7438NB6U2T01DFKCUKLLIP
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: The newly elected Somali president and visiting Kenyan foreign minister escape injury during attack on a Mogadishu hotel which kills at least eight people.
Somalia's new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the visiting Kenyan foreign minister on Wednesday (September 12) escaped an apparent suicide bomb attack on a Mogadishu hotel where they were holding a news conference unscathed, witnesses said.
Somalia's al Shabaab rebels said they had carried out the attack, which killed at least eight people and came just two days after Mohamud was elected in the first presidential vote in Somalia in decades.
Two explosions shook the Somali capital, underscoring the huge security challenges facing Mohamud who came to power in a process that was billed as an historic break with 20 years of violent anarchy.
Mohamud's election by Somali lawmakers on Monday was hailed by his supporters as a vote for change in the war-ridden Horn of Africa country that has lacked effective central government since 1991.
Although he is a relatively new face in Somali politics, the former academic faces old problems: a stubborn Islamist insurgency, acrimonious clan politics, rampant corruption and maritime piracy.
Al Shabaab - who are al Qaeda-linked militants - said the explosions had killed four members of the government's security forces. A Somali ambulance service worker said they had picked up the bodies of five government soldiers and two civilians.
The attack targeted the Jazeera Palace hotel which is located near Mogadishu's heavily fortified international airport.
The airport compound is a major base for African Union peacekeepers and the surrounding area is considered one of the safest parts of the coastal city.
On Tuesday, al Shabaab branded Mohamud a "traitor" and vowed to continue their jihad against a government they say serves only Western interests.
Kenya sent troops into Somalia in November to help crush the Islamist insurgency.
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