Five killed in fierce Mogadishu mortar fighting – AFP

February 19th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

At least five people, including four Somali government soldiers, were killed Monday evening in violent clashes between state security forces and insurgents, witnesses said.

“I’ve seen the bodies of two soldiers and of a civilian. The bodies were lying near an army vehicle which had been burnt,” said local resident Ahmed Abdullahi. (more…)

At least five people, including four Somali government soldiers, were killed Monday evening in violent clashes between state security forces and insurgents, witnesses said.

“I’ve seen the bodies of two soldiers and of a civilian. The bodies were lying near an army vehicle which had been burnt,” said local resident Ahmed Abdullahi.
Fierce mortar and heavy artillery fighting near the capital Mogadishu’s main market and rebel base, Bakara, took place with President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein still in the capital.

“I’ve seen the bodies of two Somali government forces near a hotel. They were killed during the fighting. Nine other civilians have been wounded in my neighbourhood,” said another local, Mohamed Haji Yusuf.

On Saturday, mortar bombs fired by insurgents fell near the presidential palace in Mogadishu while the president was inside. They apparently did not touch the building.
Hussein said Monday that the government was ready to open talks with the insurgents, aimed at ending a bloody guerrilla war which has accelerated since Islamic tribunals set up across the country were routed at the turn of 2006-2007 by the Ethiopian army.

Islamist militants have stepped up almost daily attacks against government forces and their allies from the Ethiopian military and an African Union peacekeeping force.
Somalia has been besieged by civil war since the fall of former president Mohamed Siad Barre in January 1991.

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