Somali Islamists kill two in Mogadishu mortar attack

March 26, 2012 9:54 am
The attack was the third this month against the heavily guarded compound/FILE

, MOGADISHU, Mar 26 – Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels killed two civilians on Monday at a camp for the displaced near the presidential compound which they targeted with mortar bombs, a security official said.

The attack was the third this month against the heavily guarded compound in the war-torn capital Mogadishu. Eleven people were killed in separate suicide and mortar attacks earlier this month, which the Shabaab claimed.

“Al-Shabaab is choosing to kill civilians, they fired several rounds of mortar bombs and killed a father and his son at a camp near the palace,” said Mohamed Adan Ilig, a security official at the presidency. Eight civilians were also injured in the attack which Ilig described as “desperate and cowardly.”

The leader of the camp said many of the wounded were children. “People are worried now because this attack is the third of its kind,” said camp leader Adan Mohamed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the Shabaab, but its commanders last week said they will continue their attacks against the presidency.

The Shabaab have turned to guerrilla attacks against the weak Western-backed Somali government and the African Union forces protecting it since abandoning fixed bases in Mogadishu last August.

The rebels are under increasing pressure from regional forces from Kenya and Ethiopia, who are battling them in their southern and central Somali strongholds, some of which they have also fled.


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