2 killed in Islamist rebels' mortar attack on Somali palace

March 26, 2012 15:04


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MOGADISHU - At least two people were killed and 8 others wounded after mortar rounds fired by Somalia's al Shabaab rebels towards the presidential palace landed on a nearby camp for the internally displaced, witnesses and officials said on Monday.

Under pressure from African Union and Somali government troops, the al-Qaida-linked militants withdrew from Mogadishu in August prompting a return to relative calm in the capital, although they still manage to launch sporadic attacks.

Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for the African Union force known as AMISOM, said some mortars hit a camp for Somalis displaced by war and famine about 300 meters from the presidential palace.

Ismail Nur, a resident of the camp, said one mortar killed two members of a single family.

"A mortar landed on our camp - a father and his son died. Eight others including three women were injured," Nur, who is a nephew to the dead father told Reuters.

Al Shabaab said they fired mortars at the heavily protected presidential compound, their third attempt to strike at the heart of the government in a fortnight.

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