Al-Shabaab attacks Mogadishu with shells hours before Somalia head presidential poll

Suspected Al-Shabaab fighters have launched a series of attacks on Mogadishu just hours ahead of the groundbreaking presidential election scheduled to place on Wednesday.

According witnesses, two mortar rounds fired landed near Somalia’s former Air Force base which the vote will be held followed by a third hit the Hamar Weyne district.

A loud explosion was also heard near KM4 roundabout and 21st October road which leads to the presidential election avenue.

It was unknown if those had resulted in casualties.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility using its radio station, Andalus.

On Wednesday, more than 300 MPs and senators will choose a president from 22 candidates, including incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Somali government has imposed a ban on flights arriving and departing from Mogadishu airport on Wednesday as hundreds of security forces beef up security of the city.

All major roads in Mogadishu have been closed till the conclusion of the ballot.

Al-Shabaab has vowed to disrupt the polls, saying it was being instigated by Western countries to impose their influence on Somalis.

The group has been fighting since 2006 to overthrow the government which its soldiers are backed over 22ooo AU troops.

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