16 March 2012

Somalia: Heavy Fighting and Shells in Capital

Mogadishu — Heavy fighting and shells between Somali government soldiers alongside African Union troops and Al-Qaeda linked militants of Al-shabab sparked overnight in Somali capital, Mogadishu, residents said.

The clashed broke out after Al-shabab fighters have launched a heavy mortar attacks on TFG and AMISOM military bases located nearby Bakarat cemeteries in Huriwa district, northern edge of Mogadishu, reasoning unconfirmed number of casualties of both local residents and warring sides in the area.

Residents said the two sides pounded each other with artillery, mortars and machine guns, forcing locals to flee from their homes in fear of intensified fighting.

"Mortar shells were falling like rain villages beyond the battlefields as heavily armed insurgents flooded into the combat with Somalia and AU forces supported by tanks and armoured vehicles," a villager told Shabelle Media by phone.

Neither Somali government nor Al-shabab has made ant comments about the overnight fighting in Huriwa district. The militants have vowed last week to step up their attacks against TFG and AMSOM forces in Mogadishu.

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