15 December 2009

Somalia: Scores Killed in Mogadishu Violence

Photo: Atosh/IRIN
A scene from a past bomb attack in Somalia.

At least 20 people are killed and 31 others injured within 24 hours in heavy fighting between Somali rebels and government forces in the restive capital Mogadishu.

The worst violence happened at government and African Union troops' base in Mogadishu's Warshadaha Road, where they engaged with fighters loyal to Hizbul Islam and Al-Shabaab rebel groups who fired heavy weapons.

Mortar shells and stray bullets have killed at least 12 civilians while the casualty figure from warring sides is unknown.

Col. Dahir Ali Farey and Afrah Ali Afrah who are Somali forces' spokespersons have confirmed few casualties from their sides without giving out the actual figure.

Early on Monday, heavily armed rebel fighters attacked Burundian troops based at Jalle Siad Military base north of Mogadishu, leading to exchange of gunfire that killed two rebel fighters, according to witnesses.

Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam has both claimed responsibility for the attack and also claimed that they have inflicted casualties on their rivals.

The capital is now unruffled with stalled transport between Mogadishu and Afgoye resuming to normalcy.

Meanwhile, Somalia's embattled Prime Minister Omar Ali Sharmarke and a delegation of ministers have travelled from Mogadishu to Nairobi, the capital of Nairobi where they will then proceed to Saudi Arabia to attend meeting.

"The Prime Minister will address the current situation the country is facing in the Saudi Arabia meeting and we are hoping that the outcome will tackle the security and reconstruction of the country," said Prof. Abdirahman Ibbi, the deputy Prime Minister.

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