3 Killed In Mortar Attack Near Presidential Palace

Three persons were killed and four others were injured on Thursday when mortar shells landed at a residential area bordering the presidential villa in Mogadishu.

“We can confirm that three persons have been killed among them two children.

“Four others were injured when mortar shells landed at Warta Nabadda near Villa Somalia,’’ police officer Abdullahi Ahmed said.

Witnesses said there were huge blasts in the village which also destroyed some houses.

“There were at least five mortar shells which landed at our village, I heard three people were killed,’’ Muktar Nor said.

The latest attack came when guests were being hosted in Villa Somalia during the handover ceremony to the new president.

The new president is expected to pack into the new residence to pave way for his inauguration on Feb 22.

Already, the government had announced it would suspend temporarily all domestic and international flights to Mogadishu airport during the inauguration.

No group had yet claimed responsibility for the latest attack.

The new president pledged during his campaigns to eradicate criminal networks and terror groups in Somalia.

(Xinhua/NAN)