Somali president escapes unhurt from ambush

Police commander confirms attack on motorcade and rebels threaten that they are waiting for the president's return.

    President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been in power since 2012 [EPA]
    President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been in power since 2012 [EPA]

    Somalia's president has escaped unhurt from an ambush on his military-escorted motorcade that the armed group al-Shabaab said it carried out.

    President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was approaching the port town of Marka, south of the capital Mogadishu, when al-Shabaab rebels said they fired rocket-propelled grenades at the convoy.

    Local police commander Abdikadir Mohamed confirmed Tuesday's attack to the Reuters news agency and said the president arrived safely at Marka, 90 km from the capital. There was no immediate comment from the president's office.

    The attack underscores the apparent ease with which al-Shabaab rebels can infiltrate areas under the control of Somali government forces and African peacekeepers and strike at the heart of government.

    They have continued to launch guerrilla-style attacks and kidnappings in the city despite being largely pushed out by Somali and African forces two years ago.

    "The president narrowly escaped. We are waiting for his return," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab's spokesman for military operations, said.

    The rebels said they killed several soldiers and destroyed two armoured vehicles from the motorcade that was under escort by African Union and government troops.

    Al-Shabaab abandoned Marka and other urban strongholds last year under military pressure from advancing forces loyal to Mogadishu.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.