The recent mortar attacks has killed three internally displaced persons (IDPs) near the Somali Parliament building in Somalia’s capital in Mogadishu.
Reports say several mortars landed in the Beerta Darawiishta settlement for internally displaced persons (IDPs) where the three IDPs were killed, including a father and his three-year-old child, and another eight people were seriously wounded.
Some reports claim that Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab rebels was targeting the presidential compound with mortar bombs.
According to media reports, the attack was the third this month against the heavily guarded compound in the war-torn capital Mogadishu. Eleven people were killed in separate suicide and mortar attacks earlier this month.
The United Nations refugee agency today called for respect of civilian life and humanitarian agencies in Mogadishu as mortar attacks continued in the Somali capital.
According to the spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Melissa Fleming, the target of the attack is believed to have been pro-government forces near the parliament building.
However, Ms. Fleming noted that just as in a similar attack last week on the presidential palace Villa Somalia where the mortars did not reach the target and instead landed among IDPs.
Ms. Fleming also says there were more mortar attacks on Villa Somalia and elsewhere over the weekend, but no casualties had been reported.
Anti-government forces have reportedly instructed IDPs to move away from areas surrounding presidential offices as they intend to continue the attacks, Ms. Fleming reported
Ms. Fleming also noted that pro-government forces are implementing practices to reduce the impact of indirect fire on the civilian population.
Earlier this year, Keysaney Hospital in northern Mogadishu was hit by two mortar shells. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed. The shells landed in a garden and between two buildings.
Reports say nearly 10,000 people have been killed in murderous mortar attacks in the Somali capital city, Mogadishu as perpetrated by rebel group Al-Shabaab.
Fighting between Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Al-Shabaab militants had already uprooted tens of thousands of people in Mogadishu before the current humanitarian crisis began. Ongoing insecurity and drought, as well as famine in parts of southern Somalia, have caused a massive influx of starving adults and children into the city in the past two months.
Al-Shabaab militants are infamous for deliberately
blocking the delivery of food assistance in an area of south central Somalia which is under direct or indirect control of al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab militant group has been compared with the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan because of its opinions and beliefs.
Somalia’s UN-backed government is guarded by a 10,000-strong African Union force.