Somali forces killed eight al-Shabaab insurgents firing mortar rounds at a government delegation led by the country’s president and premier, local media reported Friday.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgents fired at least 13 mortar rounds in the city of Dhusamareb where the leaders were holding a conference on the country’s next elections.
According to state-run broadcaster Somali National Television (SNTV), the Somali forces captured one insurgent and seized weapons in an operation outside Dhusamareb.
Security forces clashed with the terrorists while patrolling the outskirts of the city when the terrorists started the mortar shells barrage.
The military released images and footage of the vehicles, mortars and small arms used by the insurgents during the attack.
Following international pressure, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed called on regional leaders earlier this week to attend a three-day consultative summit in Dhusamareb to resolve outstanding issues on holding timely and credible elections in the country.
The president’s mandate will expire on Feb. 8, and the country has already missed the deadline for parliamentary elections twice.