The brazen attack spotlights the presence of religious foreigners in a lawless country that US officials say could soon turn into the next terrorist haven run by militant Islamists.
The fiery Sheikh Dahir Aweys may be ready to hash out a peace deal, following weeks of fighting the moderate government of Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.
As 3,000 Ethiopian soldiers depart, militia groups are battling to take more control from the weak transitional government.
Widely considered an obstacle to peace, Abdullahi Yusuf announced his resignation on Monday.
In cash-strapped, hungry Somalia, the pirate life may be risky, but payoffs are huge.
As the violence escalates, observers warn of famine and the worst humanitarian crisis on the African continent.