Armed men working for the transitional federal government stand between two gates leading to the Somali President's house
A suicide bomber blew himself up Wednesday at the compound of Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, killing at least two people, in an attack claimed by Al-Qaeda affiliated Shebab rebels.
According to AFP, the bomber detonated an explosive vest at the highly guarded compound, but it was not immediately clear if Sharif, who was in Ethiopia on Tuesday, was back at his residence.
The Shebab said one of its volunteers had carried out the attack, claiming 16 people had been killed.
"The mujahideen carried out a spectacular martyrdom operation inside the presidential palace of the apostate Somali regime," the group said in a Twitter post.
Police spokesman, Abdulahi Hasan Barise said that according to initial reports at least three people had been killed, including the bomber, and that six others had been injured.
Another police official, Mohamed Adan, said the attacker blew himself up at the gate of Somali parliament speaker's residence, which is also located at the Villa Somalia compound that houses the presidency.
The hardline Islamist group has resorted to guerrilla tactics since abandoning fixed bases in the war-raged capital Mogadishu in August, and have claimed responsibility for previous deadly attacks.
In October, the militia carried out its deadliest suicide attack in the capital when a bomber rammed an explosives-laded vehicle into a government compound, killing at least 82 people.
A Shebab suicide bomber also killed 15 people in February at a cafe near the presidential palace.
The insurgents have been fighting to overthrow the weak Western-backed Somalia government which is propped up in Mogadishu by a 10,000-strong African Union force comprising troops from Djibouti, Burundi and Uganda.