The gun battle comes as a dispute over cabinet positions between President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, new premier Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and parliamentary speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden has delayed the announcement of a new government.
Witnesses say that Ibrahim Bulle, a soldier loyal to Aden, attempted to force his way into a room where Abdiweli, who has reportedly threatened to resign over the cabinet impasse, was meeting Sheikh Sharif. When the presidential guard stopped him, he pulled out a pistol and opened fire. Colonel Mohamed Arab, a senior commander of the presidential guard, was shot in the head and died on the way to hospital. At least two other soldiers were killed, and one injured, in the fighting.
The situation is now calm, and there has been no official statement on the incident.