Mortar Shells Land at Somali Regional President’s Palace

Jowhar Somalia

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – A number of mortar shells hit the presidential palace of southern Somalia’s Hirshabelle regional state and other government buildings in the region’s administrative capital, Jowhar on Saturday night as authorities prepare to hold Senate elections.

Local media cited residents in the town as saying that multiple explosions from mortar bombs targeting the regional president’s residence and other government compounds could be heard overnight.

Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab – which often carries out attacks targeting government officials and foreign troops in the country – claimed responsibility, saying the regional president’s palace was a prime target for its assault.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Hirshabelle authorities said the attack did not cause any casualties and a search for the attackers got underway immediately after Ali Gudlawe’s residence had come under attack.

It came just 24 hours after 3 regional MPs wounded in a grenade attack on a house they lived in the town of Jowhar.

The region is expected to begin Senate elections within this week and authorities say the recent militant attacks were part of the insurgents’ efforts to undermine security and disrupt the upcoming polls.

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