[dehai-news] iol.co.za: Twelve killed in Mogadishu fighting

New Message Reply About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Jan 21 2009 - 06:49:08 EST

Twelve killed in Mogadishu fighting


    January 21 2009 at 10:45AM





Mogadishu - Twelve Somalis, many of them civilians, were killed and 19
wounded in clashes between government forces and Islamist insurgents in
Mogadishu, officials and witnesses told reporters on Wednesday.

A group of armed insurgents attacked government forces manning a checkpoint
in the northern neighbourhood of Sinay late on Tuesday while fighting also
erupted in the Madina district, the sources said.

"The stooges of the enemies of Allah attacked our forces in a police station
in Madina neighbourhood and we repelled them," Islamist commander Sheikh
Mohamed Ibrahim said, referring to the government's support for Ethiopia's
two-year occupation of the country.

"They opened indiscriminate fire on areas populated by civilians, killing
innocents," said the commander, from a faction close to hardline Islamist
leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.

"I saw the bodies of two soldiers on the street in Madina and several others
were also wounded near my house," local resident Hared Ahmed said.

Several other witnesses gave at least the same death toll for the incident.

A government official argued that his forces were attacked first.

"The Islamists also attacked residents in Madina neighbourhood and we
defended ourselves and that is what we are going to do," said Wadajir
district commissioner Ahmed Hasan Daci, whose forces were involved in the

Witnesses said residents had started fleeing the area as both sides
reinforced their positions, sparking fears of further clashes.

In another incident, Islamist insurgents took over a checkpoint manned by
government forces in the Sinay district following an intense exchange of

"The Somali government forces were defeated in Sinay and their checkpoint
was taken by the Islamists. Three soldiers and an Islamist fighter died in
the area," eyewitness Yusuf Abdallah said.

Medics told reporters that at least 19 wounded civilians were hospitalised
following on Tuesday night's fighting in the capital, including one who
later died of injuries sustained during the violence in Madina.

Ethiopian troops, who had invaded Somalia in late 2006 to prop up a weak
transitional government and remove an Islamist militia from power, pulled
out of Mogadishu earlier this month.

Their withdrawal had been one of the main demands of the country's
Islamist-led opposition, but hardline militias have vowed to continue
fighting against government forces and African peacekeepers.

The Ethiopian forces' pullout has also created a security vacuum drawing
clan-based militias and warlords into a scramble for control over the
capital's various districts.


         ----[This List to be used for Eritrea Related News Only]----

New Message Reply About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

© Copyright DEHAI-Eritrea OnLine, 1993-2009
All rights reserved