5 December 2012

Somalia: Civilian Injuries in Mogadishu Shelling - Police Remove Roadblocks

Photo: The Daily Nation
Al Shabaab (file photo).

Mogadishu, Somalia — At least 5 civilians were injured after heavy artillery rained down on a suburban neighborhood in the war-torn capital of Mogadishu, Garowe Online reports.

According to government officials, at least 5 shells were fired from Al Shabaab agents and hit homes in the Bondhere and Wardiigley districts injuring 5 civilians.

The Al Shabaab alleged that they targeted Villa Somalia the headquarters of President Hassan Shiekh Mohamud. However according to sources, only one shell hit the presidential palace.

"Most of the shells hit the district of Bondhere which resulted in many injuries," said Bondhere district councilor Abdullahi Istakiin.

Somalia Federal Government officials did not speak about the shelling on Wednesday.

President Hassan was away on a diplomatic trip to Turkey where he met with Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday.

Roadblocks in Mogadishu

The Somali president before leaving on a diplomatic leave, met with police and military officials, ministers and district officials to discuss the problem of roadblocks in the city of Mogadishu.

On Tuesday, Traffic Police Chief Gen. Ali Hersi Barre, was shot in Mogadishu, reportedly by an armed policeman that setup a roadblock in the war-torn capital.

There are also reports that the man that shot Gen. Barre, was part of the armed guards protecting the traffic police chief and that two had argued before the shooting.

Gen. Abdullahi Hassan Barisa police spokesman said that, "a police bandit standing in the street had shot the police chief."

Gen. Barre is being treated for minor injuries at a private hospital in Mogadishu.

Illegal roadblocks in Mogadishu have increased dramatically since Al Shabaab fled the city August 2011.

President Hassan had a two-day meeting in Villa Somalia with cabinet officials late last month to discuss the issue of roadblocks in the capital.

Since the beginning of December and late November, police in Mogadishu have been removing roadblocks from the city. According to some reports more than 50 roadblocks have been removed in the city.

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