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Mortars Fired at Somalia's Presidential Palace


Witnesses say at least three people are dead in the latest series of insurgent attacks in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

Several mortars were fired overnight, aimed at targets that included the residence of Somali interim President Abdullah Yusuf. Witnesses say the shells hit several nearby buildings, but missed the president's home.

Witnesses Thursday say three people, including an elderly man, were killed.

Residents of a neighborhood in southern Mogadishu say government forces and unidentified attackers exchanged gunfire for about 20 minutes Wednesday.

The government says it is planning to go ahead with an often-delayed national reconciliation conference in Mogadishu on Sunday. More than 1,300 Somali elders, warlords and politicians have been invited.

Mogadishu has been plagued by bloody violence since an alliance of interim government forces and Ethiopian troops pushed an Islamist movement from power in the capital late last year.

Somalia has been mired in anarchy since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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