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March 18, 2012

5 Killed in Attack Near Somali Presidential Palace

by Peter Cobus

At least five people were killed in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, when insurgents fired mortars at the presidential palace but hit a displaced persons' camp instead.

Another seven people were injured in the overnight attack, for which militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility.

A colonel for the Somali army said mortars landed a few hundred meters away on the makeshift camp, which houses Somalis displaced by years of conflict and drought.

He said the attack caused no damage to the presidential palace.

This is the second time in a week al-Shabab has tried to strike the presidential palace.

Somali government and African Union forces have pushed the group out of its former Mogadishu strongholds, but al-Shabab continues to carry out rocket, bomb, and suicide attacks in the capital.

The group, which is allied with al-Qaida, is trying to overthrow the government and turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.