From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Feb 22 2009 - 16:53:03 EST
11 African Union peacekeepers killed in Somalia
22 Feb 22, 2009 - 7:07:19 PM
MOGADISHU, Somalia Feb 22 (Garowe Online) - The African Union says
eleven peacekeepers from Burundi were killed in Somalia Sunday in an
"unprecedented" attack, Radio Garowe reports.
Witnesses near the compound of Somalia's old National University in the
capital Mogadishu said two huge explosions occurred midday today,
sending plumes of smoke into the air and terrifying residents weary of
war and violence.
The old university campus is a base for AU peacekeepers from Burundi.
"These attacks have reached today an unprecedented level, resulting in
the killing of 11 Burundian soldiers, while 15 others have sustained
serious injuries," read the AU statement, as published by the Reuters
Muktar Robow "Abu Mansur," the Al Shabaab spokesman, claimed
responsibility for the suicide bombings on Mogadishu radio stations.
"Two of our men were martyred...they inflicted heavy damage on soldiers
at a church," Abu Mansur claimed, while identifying the suicide bombers
as Ahmed Sheikhdon Sidow Wehliye and Mursal Abdinur Mohamed Ali.
Abu Mansur demanded that AU soldiers leave Somalia or continue to face
He said Al Shabaab welcomes all groups who want to find a solution to
the Somali crisis, but denied having knowledge of a group of Somali
Muslim scholars who recently issued a declaration calling on the AU
force to leave Somalia within 120 days.
The scholars also called on Islamist rebels to stop the insurgency and
allow AU peacekeepers time to withdraw.
Sunday's violence becomes the deadliest attack on AU soldiers since
Ugandan soldiers deployed in Mogadishu in March 2007.
Source: Garowe Online
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