Fierce gun battle rocks Mogadishu – BBC

November 21st, 2008 Print Print Email Email

At least 15 people have been killed after insurgents attacked the Somali capital, Mogadishu, witnesses say. (more…)

At least 15 people have been killed after insurgents attacked the Somali capital, Mogadishu, witnesses say.

Heavily armed men were repulsed after they attacked the house of district commissioner Ahmed Da’i just after dawn prayers, resident Ahmed Mumin said.

Mr D’ai confirmed the attack and said the bodies of the attackers “now littered the streets”.

The raid comes on the day Ethiopian troops are due to start leaving Somalia, under a recent peace deal.

The BBC’s Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says there is no sign yet that the planned Ethiopian withdrawal from Mogadishu’s residential areas has begun.

The pull-out is due to finish on 29 December, according to the UN-brokered deal between the government and some moderate Islamist groups.

Mosque killing

Meanwhile, a gunman has killed one clan elder and wounded three others in an attack inside a mosque near the northern town of Hargeisa.

Hargeisa is the capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, which has been spared much of the violence of the rest of the country.

After the Mogadishu attack, another resident Dahir Mohamed said he had seen the bodies of 15 young men.

“They were unfamiliar faces in the our district, so we think they were the insurgents.”

The Islamists have not commented on the incident.

Ethiopia sent troops into Somalia two years to help the transitional government oust Islamists from Mogadishu and surrounding areas.

But President Abdullahi Yusuf last week admitted that Islamists now control most of the southern part of the country.

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