Somali President Moved to Palace Early, After Attack

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
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Somalia's new president has been moved to the presidential palace, one day after militants tried to bomb the hotel where he was staying.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was not due to move into the palace, known as Villa Somalia, until an official transfer of power ceremony on Sunday.

But the president moved in early, after the unsuccessful attempt on his life Wednesday at a Mogadishu hotel.

The African Union force in Somalia says its troops shot three al-Shabab suicide bombers along the perimeter of the hotel compound. Two of the attackers' explosives went off, and all three were killed, along with at least one AU soldier.

Mr. Mohamud was given a tour of the heavily-fortified palace Thursday by his predecessor Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who is still living at the compound.

Ahmed lost the presidential election to Mr. Mohamud on Monday in Somalia's parliament. The election was the last major step in a plan to create a new government in Somalia, which has gone more than 20 years without an effective central authority.