20 June 2009

Somalia: Fighting Restarts in Mogadishu

Mogadishu — Heavy fighting between government soldiers and Islamist forces has restarted in parts of Yaqshid, Shibis and Karan districts north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, officials told Shabelle radio on Saturday.

Reports say that the fighting started in parts of Yaqshid district early on Saturday morning and lately spread to Shibis and Karan districts as both sides claimed victory about the fighting and still exchanging heavy gunfire in the capial.

Mo'alin Hashi, a member of Hisbul Islam organization officials told Shabelle radio that they have the upper hand of the fighting continuing in Yaqshid district adding that their forces are near to Global hotel in the north of the capital.

On the other hand, Farhan Asanyo, a military spokesman of the transitional government disproved the statement of Mo'alin Hashi saying that the government soldiers are very close to Pasta Factory, a stronghold of the Islamist forces in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

It is unclear the real casualty and details of the fighting.

But shortly after we had contacted Abdirak Kampala, a freelance journalist in area of the fighting specially Nasin-Bundo neighborhood in Shibis district, he told Shabelle Media Network that Hisbul Islam forces backing by Harakat Al-shabab Mujahideen forces were in Nasib-Bundo zone, an area of the fighting in north of the capital.

Kampala said that the sound of heavy gunfire could be heard in all directions as many fleeing people could also be seen in warring areas of the fighting in Mogadishu.

The fighting comes as there has been heavy fighting between the two sides yesterday afternoon until overnight, killing 4, injuring 10 others in Yaqshid and Karan districts in the north of the capital.

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