WAS CHAIRING FIRST CABINET MEETING: Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire

Mortar shells wounded at least seven people in and around the presidential compound in Mogadishu, Somalia, while the Cabinet was meeting inside.

At least three mortars struck a residential neighborhood near the palace.

“A mortar shell hit near a house in Wardhigley district close to the presidential compound. We transported four injured civilians to the hospital,” Mohamed Aden, an ambulance driver said.

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No Cabinet members were wounded as Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire was holding the new government’s first meeting with ministers to talk about security and the drought.

No one has claimed the responsibility for the shelling, but Somali militant group al-Shabab often attacks government targets.

In Washington, the Pentagon announced that President Donald Trump has given it more authority to launch airstrikes against al-Shabab without having to justify its actions.

The US is supporting Somali and African Union forces in their fight against the Islamic terrorists.

“The additional support provided by this authority will help deny al-Shabab safe havens from which it could attack US citizens or US interests in the region,” Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said.

The new Somali government is struggling to assert its authority as it deals with a devastating drought and terror from the militants.


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