13 August 2009

Somalia: 2 Civilians Killed in Mogadishu Shelling

Mogadishu — Two civilians were killed and four other people were wounded, including a 10-year-old girl. Locals said insurgents launched mortars at the bases of Somali government forces and African Union peacekeepers in Medina district.

"Today, shells hit our neighborhood and two people died, including an old man," said witness Farah, who lives in Dharkinley, a district under government control.

He said the insurgents escaped the shelling, but innocent civilians were caught in the crossfire.

Mogadishu has been in the grip of political violence since the outbreak of the Somali civil war in 1991, when clan warlords toppled the country's last effective ruler and plunged Somalia into chaos.

In early 2007, an Islamist-led insurgency began to overthrow the Horn of Africa country's UN-backed transitional federal government, which enjoys the support of a 5,000-strong AU peacekeeping force in Mogadishu.

Upwards of 18,000 people have been killed in the insurgency since, according to some estimates.

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