Mogadishu: AMISOM Barracks Come Under Mortar Attack

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At broad daylight, today, mortar shells landed at the AMISOM Halane Compound, near the Adan Adde International Airport, Wadajir District of Mogadishu.

Reports say an unspecified number of mortar shells rained down on the heavily fortified compound and nearby areas.

The reports, however, did not reveal how extensive the damage caused was – if any, or what retaliatory measures the African Union troops had taken to defend themselves.

The Halane compound extending from the airport runway all the way down to Jazeera, stretching several kilometres, houses facilities that are used both as homes and offices by the entire international presence in the beleaguered Somalia capital. Hotels and recreation facilities for both nationals and international staff, working at high profile positions are also located within the facilities.There is a large presence of the AU troops dotting all along the length of the compound which is responsible for the safety of civilians within the barricaded and wired perimeter walls cordoning off the area from the rest of the city.

This compound, which is practically off-limits to the incumbent government and regular Somali residents of the capital, has often been called ‘ a city within a city’ because of, besides its peculiar layout and nature, the life it contains which has no discernible contact or similarity to the mainstream one beyond the concrete and barbed wires.

Today’s shelling coincided with the city’s celebration of the 58th anniversary of Somalia’s independence feom Italy on 1st July 1960, and the oll-fated union with the already independent, former British Protectorate of Somaliland the same day.

No one has yet claimed credit for the attack.

Four people living outside the compound were reported to have died in the shelling and 8 others injured, according to an FGS press statement later. The report, however, said nothing of any of the shells landing in or resulting in any casualties at the targeted areas.

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