Five killed in explosions near Somali presidential palace

FILE PHOTO: Somali government soldiers trained by the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) team march during their passing out ceremony at Bihanga army training camp, 368 km (230 miles) west of Uganda's capital Kampala, February 1, 2013. Five hundred fifty one Somali soldiers, trained for seven months in urban combat skills by the EUTM, graduated on Friday and are now ready for deployment back in their home country, according to a media release by the EU Kampala offices. REUTERS/James Akena (UGANDA - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)

Somali officials and witnesses said five people were killed and more than 10 injured Thursday in explosions in central Mogadishu that partially hit the presidential palace.

A security official said on condition of anonymity that the blasts injured junior government workers inside the palace.

A government official, Mohamed Aden, who blamed the explosions on insurgent group al-Shabaab, said the victims also included women and children.

He said the insurgents may have fired mortars from vehicles.

Earlier Thursday, Somali president, Hassan Mohamud, revealed at least 180 Kenyan peacekeepers were killed in an al-Shabaab attack on African Union (AU) military base in Somalia’s southern village of el-Ade last month.

The figure, if accurate, would make the January 15 attack the group’s largest success against AU troops in Somalia.

A 20,000-strong AU contingent is helping Somalia battle the insurgents, who are seeking an Islamist state in Somalia and are affiliated with the international al-Qaeda terrorist network.


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