From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Jan 21 2009 - 14:05:03 EST
Mogadishu violence claims 19 lives
21 Jan 2009 10:27:51 GMT
Clashes between Somali government soldiers and rebels have reportedly killed
19 people amid fears of more violence following Ethiopia's pullout.
The fighting between the gunmen and forces loyal to the Transitional Federal
Government occurred in southern Mogadishu on Tuesday, leaving 19 people
dead, Press TV's correspondent reports.
Clashes continue in Dharkenleyt and Wada Jir districts in the south of the
Somali capital where the rebels struggle to take control of government
The chairman of the Medina district in southern Mogadishu, Ahmed Daci,
confirmed that seven of the dead were Somali soldiers. He further stressed
that government forces are ready to defend their positions and confront
Mortar shell explosions and heavy crossfire between the clashing sides has
driven hundreds of people out of their homes.
Somalia remains the scene of growing violence and fighting among rebels and
the weak interim government, which is backed by the African Union
peacekeeping forces (AMISOM).
Land mine explosions destroyed a Ugandan military vehicle on Tuesday on Maka
Al Mukarama Street in southern Mogadishu where eight civilians were injured.
AMISOM sources confirmed that the incident occurred but denied that any
Ugandan soldiers were killed or injured.
Last week, Ethiopia 'irreversibly' pulled out the troops it had deployed to
the Horn of Africa state, raising fears of an increase in the attacks
against the Somali government and its AU military allies.
Al-Shabaab official Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur emphasized last Thursday
that the rebel group is determined to continue its armed activities to expel
all foreign military forces from Somalia.
Mogadishu Mayor Mohamed Osman Ali Dhagah Tuur has accused anti-government
fighters of disturbing peace and unilaterally attacking government soldiers
at their bases.
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