Mortar shells fell near the Somalia presidential palace in Mogadishu on Thursday afternoon, causing the death of at least two civilians, witnesses confirmed.
The mortars were destined to the Palace in Wardhigle district, but missed and landed in a residential area, causing the death of civilians, said one of the witnesses.
No one has claimed the responsibility of the shelling, but Somali militant group is famous for carrying out such attacks.
‘’Two civilians were killed in the incident and several others sustained minor injuries. Security across the Presidential Palace has been tightened,’’ said Ali Nor, a resident of Wardhigley district.
It was unclear if President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud was in the palace at the time of the shells.
Villa Somalia is a heavily fortified, but neglected compound in the heart of the city where the most senior Somali government officials, including the president, have their offices. Some also live inside the compound.
Since the al-Qaeda-linked militant group was pushed out of the capital, it has carried a number of assassinations and suicide attacks in which it targeted government and security officers.
In 2014, al-Shabaab twice launched spectacular attacks on the Presidential palace highlighting their ability to penetrate and conduct strikes in an area regarded as the most secure oasis in Mogadishu.
Published: January 7, 2016