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Al-Shabab Targets Somali Presidential Palace


FILE - Somali soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the presidential palace in Mogadishu, July, 9, 2014.

Somalia militant group Al-Shabab carried out a mortar attack at the presidential palace Thursday, and witnesses said one person was killed.

Security officials confirmed the attack but did not release any information on casualties.

Police said they are investigating.

Al-Qaida-linked, militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack and said several shells landed inside the palace, but police would confirm only that several mortars landed near the heavily fortified structure.

The attack occurred as Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke was meeting with his Cabinet.

Hotel bombing

Al-Shabab also claimed responsibility for last week's hotel bombing in Mogadishu that killed 25 people, including two government officials, and wounded the country's deputy prime minister.

Mogadishu deputy mayor Mohamed Aden Guled and Somali lawmaker Omar Ali Nor were among those killed in the hotel attack.

Among the 40 wounded there were Somalia's deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte and Transport and Aviation Minister Ali Ahmed Jama Jangali.

Al-Shabab has repeatedly attacked government and civilian targets in Somalia in its efforts to topple the government and establish its version of an Islamic state. An African peacekeeping force pushed the militants out of Mogadishu in 2011.

The group launched two assaults on the presidential palace during 2014, and killed at least five members of parliament.

Some material for this report came from Reuters and AP.