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Suicide bomber kills 2 at Somali president’s villa

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 29, 2013 at 7:13 a.m.

— A suicide bomber detonated explosives outside the prime minister’s home in Somalia’s presidential palace compound, killing two people, an official said Tuesday.

The man blew himself up Tuesday morning when he was questioned by soldiers manning a checkpoint in the palace complex known as Villa Somalia, said Mohamed Ali, a police officer at the official residence in Mogadishu, the capital.

Villa Somalia has a large compound with several buildings and checkpoints. The bomber was four more checkpoints away from President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s home, Ali said.

The president is said to be out of the country on state business.

The checkpoint where the blast occurred is near the home of Prime Minister’s Abdi Farah Shirdon which is also in the compound, according to officials.

Shirdon was at home but was not harmed, according to an official from the palace who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak with media.

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