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At least Three Dead in Somalia Attacks

Witnesses in Somalia say at least three people have died and several have been wounded in mortar and grenade attacks in the capital city of Mogadishu.

Reports say at least two of the deaths came when unknown assailants fired mortar shells into a residential area in the capital Saturday.

One person was injured when grenades were launched into a hotel where a peace and reconciliation conference was being held.

Mogadishu has been plagued by sporadic violence since the interim Somali government, backed by Ethiopian troops, drove radical Islamists out of the capital in December. The attacks have been blamed on Islamists, who vowed to carry out a guerrilla-style insurgency against the government.

The African Union has managed to raise a peacekeeping force of four-thousand troops, far short of the 8,000 the AU says is necessary to replace Ethiopian soldiers who have begun withdrawing.

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