Skip to main content

Mortar fire rains down on Mogadishu

By Mohammed Tawfeeq and Omar Nor, CNN
updated 9:52 PM EST, Wed February 12, 2014
At least eight mortar rounds rained down on the Somali capital of Mogadishu late Wednesday, coming of the heels of recent attacks that have included mortar strikes and car bombs (above).
At least eight mortar rounds rained down on the Somali capital of Mogadishu late Wednesday, coming of the heels of recent attacks that have included mortar strikes and car bombs (above).
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • For the second week in a row, mortar fire strikes Somali capital
  • Mortars landed near presidential palace and national theater
  • Reports of casualties and damage are not immediately available

(CNN) -- At least eight mortar rounds rained down on the Somali capital of Mogadishu late Wednesday, security officials and witnesses said.

The mortar attacks, the second barrage to rattle the capital in the past week, were scattered across several parts of Mogadishu, including the presidential palace and the national theater, the officials and witnesses said.

Reports of casualties and damage were not immediately available, security officials said.

Mohamud Shiekh, a witness near the national theater, said that at least one mortar landed near presidential palace.

"It was really scary. It's reminiscent of the 2010 chaos," he said.

A barrage of mortar fire from Islamic extremists pummeled parts of the Somali capital for two nights last week, near the presidential palace and other government buildings. Some civilian homes were struck.

At least 13 civilians were injured in last week's attacks.

Al-Shabaab, the Somali-based group with ties to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for last week's attacks.

In recent years, U.S. officials had considered Al-Shabaab to be diminished in strength, but after the attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya last year, officials have worried that the group has demonstrated a renewed capability.

Somali national army and African Union peacekeepers are in final preparations for major offensive against Al-Shabaab, according to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

The radical Islamist group, which controls parts of Somalia, has said it aims to turn the country into a fundamentalist Islamist state.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT