Armed men have attacked the presidential palace in Somalia -- but it appears that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was not harmed.
Witnesses in Mogadishu say the attack Friday began with a car explosion. Afterward, men carrying guns and hand grenades tried to fight their way into the heavily-guarded compound.
Initial reports say several soldiers were killed along with Mohamud Indha-Asse, chief of staff in the prime minister's office.
The U.N. special representative in Somalia, Nick Kay, said in a Twitter message that the president called him to say he was unharmed.
Militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The al-Qaida-linked group was pushed out of Mogadishu by African Union and Somali government forces in 2011, but has continued to mount periodic attacks in the city.