From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Mon Nov 23 2009 - 16:15:26 EST
Somalia: Heavy clashes kill 11 in Mogadishu
Nov 23, 2009 - 7:14:53 AM
At least 11 people have been killed and 18 others injured in heavy fighting
between Somali government forces and fighters loyal to insurgent Hizbul
Islam group, Radio Garowe reports on Monday.
The clashes, which started on late Sunday and continued overnight,
concentrated in the capital's Hodan, Howlwadag and parts of Maka Al Mukarama
road, where the warring sides exchanged heavy weapons including mortar
shells and machine guns.
Mohammed Osman Arus, Hizbul Islam's spokesman said that his forces carried
out attacks on government and AU troops who were advancing on rebel
territories, adding that they have killed several government soldiers.
"We carried out attacks on government and AMISOM troops especially Ugandans
who advanced to Digfer Hospital. We forced them out of the hospital," he
told reporters in Mogadishu.
The clashes erupt after AU forces made military movement in Hodan districts
especially Digfer Hospital where they briefly occupied and then vacated
later in the day.
Residential areas have also witnessed heavy bombardment and gun fire that
forced many to flee their homes and look for safer grounds.
The clashes are worst to hit the bullet-ridden seaside capita in recent days
with the powerful insurgency maintaining the grip of its positions across
the war-torn country, which has been marred by years of anarchy.
Somalia: Ethiopian and Somali officials hold secret talks
Nov 23, 2009 - 7:08:10 AM
Ethiopian officials have reportedly crossed the border to neighbouring
Somalia to hold secret talks with former administrators of Somalia's
southern region of Bakool in the southwestern border village of Yeed,
Reports said Ethiopian officials from Somali region led by Barey chief Daud
Abdi escorted by their troops entered the village and met with Somali
officials from Bay and Bakool region who were led by Col. Adan Saransor
Sources told Garowe Online that the closed-door meetings reportedly focused
on strengthening Somali troops in a bid to strengthen the forces and fight
with the militants, who control much of the region including strategic town
of Baidoa, the capital of Bay.
"The meeting was secret and we don't want to reveal the outcome to the
media. But the two sides discussed the military cooperation," said a Somali
official who attended the meeting.
The latest meeting raised eyebrows in the village and its environs which are
currently under the Somali insurgent group Al-Shabaab.
Ethiopian officials have reportedly urged their Somali counterparts not to
allow any cooperation between Somali militants and Ethiopian rebel group
ONLF which is waging war against the Ethiopian government over the control
of Somali region.
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