12 January 2009

Somalia: Heavy Fighting Breaks Out in Southern Region

Bardhere — Heavy fighting between Ethiopian soldiers accompanied by Somali government soldiers and Islamist insurgents has broken out in Bardhere town in Geda region, southern Somalia early on Monday morning, Shabelle's correspondent reported.

Residents say that the fighting has started about 02:00 local time in Kilaliyow Mountain which is 12 kilometers north of Bardhere town in Gedo region and both allied soldiers and the Somali Islamist insurgents have exchanged heavy weapons which could be heard in all the areas around the town during the fighting.

Mohamed Abdi kalil, a deputy district commissioner of Bardhere town and Col. Warfaa Sheik Aden known as (Farole), a government soldiers' officer in Jubba regions, southern Somalia have talked the fighting and said that there were more casualties including deaths and wounds but could not be confirmed and denied that the fighting was involved by Ethiopian troops.

The real casualty of the fighting is unclear and there is no group who claimed the responsibility of the fighting in Bardhere town yet.

Reports from Bardhere town say that the fighting was stopped and the situation returned calm.

The Ethiopian troops arrived in Somalia in 2006 to help the transitional government oust Islamists from the capital but many of Somalis were deeply unpopular with the Ethiopian intervention.

The fighting comes as Ethiopian government announced it will withdraw its troops from Somali territory in over the past week but delayed.

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