A Somali government police officer stands guard as a convoy belonging to the African Union peacekeeping force passes in Mogadishu on February 23, 2012.
At least eight civilians have been killed and several others wounded in a mortar attack in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, Press TV reports.
The incident took place late on Monday when heavy shelling rocked Mogadishu’s government-controlled Hodan district, killing five people, including children from one family, on the spot. Later three others died of injuries sustained during the attack.
"Barrage mortars rocked the Soona K area late last night, claiming the lives of at least eight civilians. We don’t know where the mortars were coming from but we think they were specifically targeted on the area,” Burhan Haji Ismail, a local resident told Press TV.
Wounded civilians were shifted to Mogadishu’s Medina hospital, according to ambulance workers.
No group has claimed responsibility for the mortar attack.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
The weak Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab fighters for the past five years and is propped up by thousands of African Union soldiers from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti.