5 August 2009

Somalia: Violence in Mogadishu As MPs Return Home

Mogadishu — More than 15 people were wounded in a series of battles and explosions, witnesses said.

Two civilians were killed in the crossfire at an intersection in Hodan district where insurgents attacked government forces.

Separately, two soldiers and a civilian were killed in an explosion in Waberi district.

In Dharkinley, a district in west Mogadishu, witnesses reported that government soldiers shot and killed two unarmed men. Government troops were conducting search operations in the district, residents said.

The violence comes on a day 20 Somali MPs landed at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport. The MPs, who had been staying in Nairobi, said more lawmakers will be returning to Mogadishu in the coming days since parliamentary sessions have resumed.

Last week, Somali lawmakers in Mogadishu rejected a controversial maritime boundary agreement between the governments of Kenya and Somalia.

Mogadishu has been the scene of a violent power struggle between the Western-backed Transitional Federal Government, led by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, and Islamist hardliners waging an insurgency to topple the government since 2007.

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