17 June 2009

Somalia: Fresh Fighting Continues in Mogadishu

Mogadishu — Fresh fighting between Islamist forces and the transitional government soldiers is continuing in parts of Hodan district in the Somali capital Mogadishu, officials told Shabelle radio on Wednesday.

Sheik Hassan Mahdi, the spokesman of Hisbul Islam organization, told Shabelle radio that government soldiers attacked their bases in Hodan district and spread around Digfer hospital, adding that their forces had fought with them and inflicted more casualties of deaths and wounds in the fighting.

Residents said that the fighting started near Taribunka Square and African village neighborhoods in Hodan district overnight, where the two sides are using heavy gunfire.

On the other hand Sheik Abdirisak Mohamed Qeyloy, an acting spokesman of the pro-government Islamic Courts Union, claimed victory in the fighting and told reporters that they had captured more bases from the other side in Mogadishu.

Mr. Qeyloy said that they captured prisoners during the fighting which started on Wednesday morning, adding that there are some casualties on their side, declining to comment on that.

Emergency traffic staff told reporters that they took at least seven injured civilians to a hospital as heavy mortar shells are landing into Bakara market where there is no business movement this morning.

The movement of the traffic and people was also halted due the bitter fighting continuing in Mogadishu. The people in the area said that the fighting spread further parts in Hodan district like Here Rushka and Jale Siad Academy where the AMISOM forces have a Military bases there.

It is yet unclear the real casualties of the war, as heavy fighting is continuing in parts of Mogadishu.

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