Two killed in mortar shells targeting presidential palace

At least two security guards attached to the minister of petroleum were killed in the vicinity of the presidential palace after a mortar targeting Somalia’s presidential palace rocked the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday evening.

Five mortars shells were fired near the heavily fortified presidential palace, which houses both ministers and members of bicameral parliment, raising questions about safety within the presidential palace.

According to reliable sources, the shells left several other people injured and are said to be receiving treatment in nearby hospitals after one of the mortars hit the residense of the minister of petroleum and mineral resources, Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed.

Al-Shabaab fighters caimed responsibilty for the attack via online. Besides targeting the presidential palace. it’s not clear who the militants were after in the presidental palace.

It’s not immediately clear if the injured people are affiliated to the minister of petroleum or civilians. This is the first Al-Shabaab attack in the Somali capital since the begining of the Holy Month of Ramadan fasting.

It’s the second time the militants are targeting the vicinity of the presidential palace. In November 2022, heavily armed Al-Shabaab fighters stormed the Villa Rose hotel, which is close to the presidential palace, with explosives and guns killing four people and injuring dozen more others in a siege that lasted more than 24 hours.

The attack comes as the government has intensified in the fight against Alshabab fighters with federal government launching the second phase of the Al-Shabaab crackdown this week.

The Somali National Army (SNA) with the help of US Africa Command, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], and local militia managed to liberate several villages.

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