A Somali official says a mortar attack targeting the Somali presidential palace has killed three civilians, including a child.

Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said Thursday the mortars hit a residential area of the capital, Mogadishu. Al-Shabab militant group, an al-Qaida affiliate claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Al-Shabab wants to overthrow Somalia's weak- U.N.-backed government and govern Somalia under a harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

Al-Shabab is waging a guerrilla war after being pushed out by African Union peacekeeping forces from major cities and towns the group once occupied in 2008. The group routinely carries out attacks in Somalia and has launched attacks in countries contributing troops to the AU forces.