Attack Near Somali Presidential Palace Kills 5

Posted March 19th, 2012 at 7:40 am (UTC-5)
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At least five people were killed in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, when insurgents fired mortars at the presidential palace but hit a displaced persons' camp instead.

Another seven people were injured in the overnight attack, for which militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility.

A colonel for the Somali army told VOA that the attack caused no damage to the presidential palace.

He says the mortars landed a few hundred meters away on the makeshift camp, which houses Somalis displaced by years of conflict and drought.

This is the second time in a week al-Shabab has tried to strike at the presidential palace.

Somali government and African Union forces have pushed the group out of its former Mogadishu strongholds but al-Shabab continues to launch rocket, bomb, and suicide attacks in the capital.

The group, which is allied with al-Qaida, is trying to overthrow the government and turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state.