21 August 2009

Somalia: 31 Dead in Mogadishu Battles And Bombs

Mogadishu — At least 31 people were killed and over 100 others wounded in a series of street battles and bombardment in the Somali capital Mogadishu since Thursday night, Radio Garowe reports.

The violence continued into Friday morning, after suspected insurgents attacked Somali government forces and African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) based around Mogadishu's KM4 square.

"Many shells hit Bakara Market and I saw 12 dead bodies, who died inside a restaurant," said a witness at Mogadishu's Bakara, the country's largest marketplace and a notorious stronghold for insurgents.

The dead bodies of three insurgent fighters were displayed by government soldiers at Taleh intersection in Hodan district, witnesses said.

Medical sources throughout Mogadishu's hospitals and clinics reported that more than 120 wounded persons were admitted since last night.

The eruption of renewed hostilities in Mogadishu comes days after the Somali federal parliament approved the government's request to enact a state of emergency across the country. READ: Federal lawmakers approve state of emergency law

Separately, fighting in other regions of south-central Somalia continued between insurgent groups, like Al Shabaab, and government forces and their allies, including the Ethiopian-backed Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamee'a faction.

Hardliners like Al Shabaab and another faction, Hizbul Islam, control large sections of Mogadishu and other regions of south-central Somalia.

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