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Mortar attacks overshadowed Somalia's handover ceremony

Mortar attacks overshadowed Somalia's handover ceremonyMohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, the new President of Somalia officially took over the reigns at the president's residence, Villa Somalia, in Mogadishu on Thursday.

The ceremony was attended by the former president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who handed over noted in a blue file to his successor. Farmaajo described it as a historic day for all Somali people.

The former president also symbolically received the national flag from an army official and handed it over President Farmajo.

Still it was reported that an hour after the completion of the handing over event, which was heavily attended by the press, there were mortar attacks heard around the state house.

At least three mortars slammed into a nearby residential area during the ceremony for President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

According to Mohamed Moalimu, the Secretary-General of the National Union of Somali Journalists, 4 people including two children were killed by the mortar attacks.

The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites, cited al-Shabab posts on Twitter that claimed responsibility for the attack.

The new president is a former Somalia Prime Minister. He won the presidential vote held on February 8 in a hangar at the Mogadishu international airport. He won the second round of voting in which 275 parliamentarians and 54 senators cast ballots.

In a congratulatory message his predecessor, Hassan Mohamud said “History was made, we have taken this path to democracy, and now I want to congratulate Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.’‘
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