Somali president was not in palace when attacked: interior minister

NAIROBI Tue Jul 8, 2014 1:47pm EDT

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was not in the presidential compound when it was attacked by Islamist rebels on Tuesday and is unhurt, the interior minister said.

Security forces were in control of the compound after repulsing the assault, Abdullahi Godah Barre said. "I can assure you the president is not hurt and as a matter of fact he was not in the palace," he told Reuters by telephone.

Up to five Islamist rebels had been killed, he added.

(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Mark Heinrich)