9 killed in mortar attack by Somali insurgents

Al Shabaab fighters display two bodies of Somali police officers during a battle August 12 in Mogadishu.
At least nine people were killed in Somalia’s war-torn capital Mogadishu when mortars slammed into a home for disabled veterans, according to journalists and witnesses.

At least 27 people were wounded in the Friday night incident, when Muslim militants fired mortars toward Mogadishu’s port and struck a residential area. The mortars hit a home for former national army officers who were disabled in a late-1970s war with Ethiopia, the sources said. Insurgents from the Al-Shabaab militant group have been fighting to topple Somalia’s government. Its fighters have frequently shelled the city’s airport and seaport, which are controlled by the African Union and government forces. The United States is supporting the Somali government’s fight against the insurgents, including providing weapons to government forces. Al Shabaab is on the U.S. list of terror organizations because of its ties to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network.

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The United States is concerned that Somalia’s weak government could fall to the Islamist insurgency, as it did in 2006 before Ethiopian forces ousted the militants from power later that year.