One killed in mortar barrage on Somali presidential compound

Insurgents in Somalia`s capital fired a barrage of mortar rounds on Thursday targeting the highly-fortified presidential palace and main government compound, killing a guard, security officials said.

Mogadishu: Insurgents in Somalia`s capital fired a barrage of mortar rounds on Thursday targeting the highly fortified presidential palace and main government compound, killing a guard, security officials said.

There was no claim of any responsibility for the explosions, but the al Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels have staged a string of attacks in their fight to overthrow the country`s internationally-backed government.

However, other militia forces operate in Mogadishu, and Parliament is often riven by intense political power struggles.

"At least four rounds of mortar shells struck the parking area and a guard was killed in the attack," security official Abdirahman Mohamed told a news agency.

Witness Mohamud Hassan said several cars parked in the area were damaged.

"Shrapnel destroyed the windows of several cars in the parking area, and I saw one person who was lightly injured," Hassan said.

Last week two Shebab suicide bombers killed at least 25 people when they attacked major hotel close to the presidential palace and popular with top government officials. 

The extremists say they are targeting the government and lawmakers as they allowed the deployment of foreign troops on Somali soil.

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