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Mortar fire rains down on Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Several mortar rounds rained down on the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Wednesday, coming off the heels of recent attacks that have car bombs, Garowe Online reports.

Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had fired five mortars at the heavily-fortified presidential compound, without providing further information about the casualties.

Local residents in the area say a number of people have been injured after a salvo of mortar rounds pummeled crowded civilian houses, and have been rushed to nearby medical centers for treatment.

Wednesday’s shelling will raise doubts about claims by the UN-backed Somalia’s Federal Government and African Union (AU) troops that it has now cleared the capital of militants.

Last Monday of this week, a car bomb exploded near Mogadishu seaport, wounding a senior Somali police official who is now in critical condition, according to the hospital sources.

The latest attack involved the use of short-range mortars but it is not clear where they were fired from.

Villa Somalia, as the presidential compound is known, is normally beyond the range of mortars launched from outside the capital, suggesting the attack was launched from within.

The Militants aligned to al-Qaeda have lost control of major towns in 2011 but still, carry out attacks.

AU troops are protecting the Villa Somalia, a sprawling hill-top compound that houses the offices of the president, prime minister, parliament speaker, and other top Government officials.


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