17 June 2009

Somalia: 10 Killed in Mogadishu Clashes

Mogadishu, Somalia — At least 10 people were killed in the Somali capital during Tuesday clashes between government forces and Islamist hardliners, Radio Garowe reports.

The fighting took place in the northern outskirts of Mogadishu, where Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali "Dheere" Mohamud claimed to have defeated government forces in Galgalato area.

"We attacked government forces this morning [Tuesday] and we captured their checkpoint," the Al Shabaab spokesman claimed.

Further, he said Al Shabaab captured three armed trucks from fleeing government forces.

But Sheikh Abdirisak Mohamed Qeylow rejected those claims, stating that Al Shabaab captured two vehicles with "mechanical problems."

He also rejected reports that Al Shabaab fighters seized the checkpoint.

Residents and witnesses in Mogadishu's Kaaraan district reported hearing the sounds of gunfire and artillery, as fighting raged between the two sides.

Upwards of 20 wounded persons were admitted to local hospitals for treatment, according to medical sources.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Mogadishu since an upsurge of insurgent violence in early May.

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