Suspected Islamist rebels have fired mortar shells at the palace used by Somalia's interim President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad.

It was not immediately clear if the president was in the palace in Mogadishu when the attack occurred or if anyone was hurt.

Local news reports said at least five mortar shells hit the palace compound and other mortars were fired elsewhere in Mogadishu Wednesday.

The attacks occurred after the government said it will go ahead with a reconciliation conference to which more than 1,300 Somali elders, warlords and politicians are invited.

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