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Mortar hits Somalia presidential palace,kills 4 Ugandans

A mortar fired by al-Qaida-linked insurgents slammed into Somalia's presidential palace.

Written by Agencies | Nairobi (kenya) |
August 30, 2010 9:42:11 pm

A mortar fired by al-Qaida-linked insurgents slammed into Somalia’s presidential palace today,killing four Ugandan peacekeepers as clashes between militants and pro-government forces entered a second week.

The mortar,which also wounded eight people,did not land near the president’s house,said a spokesman for the African Union,Maj Barigye Bahoku,who confirmed the deaths of the four Ugandans.

“The presidential palace is a huge compound and the mortar landed near our soldiers’ base,” he said. “It did not affect any other place.”

The strike against the palace comes a week after al-Shabab militants stormed a hotel near the presidential palace and killed 32 people,including four parliamentarians.

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Mogadishu has seen eight straight days of battles,fighting that started after al-Shabab’s spokesman threatened a new “massive” war against Somalia and African Union troops. Al-Shabab,which controls much of central and southern Somalia,is trying to overthrow the weak,UN-backed Somali government and install a harsh brand of Islam across the country.

Today’s fighting also killed six civilians,including three women who died when a mortar crashed into the women’s section of the busy Bakara market,said Ali Muse,the head of the city’s ambulance service.

More than 70 civilians have been killed and at least 230 others wounded since the latest fighting began Aug 23,said Muse.

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