Al Shabaab attacks Somali town west of Mogadishu - AMISOM
- World stocks hold near 16-month highs after strong week
- Broadcom Ltd. (AVGO) Tops Q4 EPS by 11c
- Oil edges higher on optimism over non-OPEC output cuts
- Restoration Hardware (RH) Tops Q3 EPS by 4c; Guides Well Below the Street
- Sibanye Gold (SBGL) to Acquire Stillwater Mining Company (SWC) in $2.2B Deal
Get daily under-the-radar research with StreetInsider.com's Stealth Growth Insider Get your 2-Wk Free Trial here.
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Somali Islamist group al Shabaab on Saturday shelled residential areas in the town of Baidoa, west of the capital Mogadishu, hitting a hospital and likely causing casualties, the African Union (AU) peace keeping force AMISOM said in a Twitter post.
The al Qaeda-allied group, which wants to topple Somalia's Western-backed government and rule the country according to Islamic Sharia law, has been ramping up attacks on both civilian and military targets in recent months.
"Al Shabaab militants fired mortar shells at densely populated civilian residential areas in Baidoa town this morning," AMISOM said on its Twitter account.
"One round of the mortars hit a hospital. Civilian casualties are unknown but expected."
Security analysts have warned that the group could step up attacks, taking advantage of the distraction caused by campaigning for a presidential election due in August.
The group has also launched attacks in Kenya and Uganda which have contributed troops to the 22,000-strong AMISOM force.
In the most recent attacks, al Shabaab late last month used vehicle-borne suicide bombers to launch assaults on an AMISOM base and the headquarters of Police's Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) both in Mogadishu.
The attacks left at least 23 people dead.
Somalia has been gripped by violence and lawlessness since early 1990s following the toppling of military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
(Writing by Elias Biryabarema. Editing by Jane Merriman)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- Fairfax unit sells more shares in Bank of Ireland
- Bosnian Serb leader blames Muslims for 'preparing for war'
- Euro zone bailout fund not preparing Italy aid: Regling
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Related EntitiesMerriman Curhan Ford, Twitter
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!