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Somalia: bomb explodes near presidential palace


At least one person was killed and another seriously injured Thursday in an explosion near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia.

“Several mortar shells landed in the vicinity (…) the investigation is continuing. The information in our possession indicates a civilian was killed and another wounded,” said Mohamed Jama, an official of the police.

Islamist group Al- Shabaab claimed responsibility immediately in a statement posted on a website.

“About ten missiles were fired at the presidential palace and some of them have reached the building. This attack is part of the operations in Mogadishu by the Mujahedeen,” the statement said.

It was unclear if President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud was in the palace at the time of the shells.

“I heard three explosions near the presidential palace, but I do not know if (the mortars) have touched,” Ibrahim Hussein, a civil servant who works in a nearby office told AFP.

Al-Shabaab was driven away from Mogadishu in mid-2011, but they have strongholds rural areas in central and southern Somalia.

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