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Mortar Attacks on Somali Presidential Compound Injure 7

  • VOA News

The Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, Somalia

Mortar shells wounded at least seven people in and around the presidential compound Thursday in Mogadishu, Somalia, while the Cabinet was meeting inside.

At least three mortars struck a residential neighborhood near the palace.

“A mortar shell hit near a house in Wardhigley district close to the presidential compound. We transported four injured civilians to the hospital,” Mohamed Aden, an ambulance driver told VOA.

No Cabinet members were wounded as Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire was holding the new government’s first meeting with ministers to talk about security and the drought.

No one has claimed the responsibility for the shelling, but Somali militant group al-Shabab often attacks government targets.

In Washington, the Pentagon announced Thursday that President Donald Trump has given it more authority to launch airstrikes against al-Shabab without having to justify its actions.

The U.S. is supporting Somali and African Union forces in their fight against the Islamic terrorists.

“The additional support provided by this authority will help deny al-Shabab safe havens from which it could attack U.S. citizens or U.S. interests in the region,” Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said Thursday.

The new Somali government is struggling to assert its authority as it deals with a devastating drought and terror from the militants.

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