Somali officials and witnesses said five people were killed and more than 10 injured Thursday in explosions in central Mogadishu that partially hit the presidential palace.

A security official said on condition of anonymity that the blasts injured junior government workers inside the palace.

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Mohamed Abdi Aden, government official who blamed the explosions on insurgent group al-Shabaab, said the victims also included women and children.

He said the Islamists may have fired mortars from vehicles.

Earlier Thursday, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud revealed approximately 180 Kenyan peacekeepers were killed in an al-Shabaab attack on African Union (AU) military base in Somalia’s southern village of el-Ade last month.

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The figure, if accurate, would make the Jan. 15 attack the group’s largest success against AU troops in Somalia.

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A 20,000-strong AU contingent is helping Somalia battle the insurgents, who are seeking an Islamist state in Somalia and are affiliated with the international al-Qaeda terrorist network. (dpa/NAN)


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