Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Three killed in Somali rebel attack

Sunday, February 08, 2009

At least three civilians were killed Sunday when Somali insurgents attacked African Union forces and government troops in the strife-torn capital Mogadishu, witnesses said.

Fierce fighting broke out in southern Mogadishu after the rebels ambushed the AU's Burundian contingent base and a nearby Somali forces billet.

"A mortar shell struck a house near Bakara's vegetable market leaving a child dead. The father of the family and his son were also injured," said Ali Mohamed, a witness.

Two other civilians were killed by stray bullets that also wounded five civilians, local resident Said Bakar said.

"This is a terrible situation, nothing is over yet," he said.

On Tuesday, the hardline Islamist group Shebab called on its fighters to intensify their holy war against the AU peacekeepers, accused the previous day of killing at least 18 civilians when their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb.

The understrength AU force comprises around 3,400 Ugandan and Burundian troops. It is to eventually number 8,000.

Sunday's attack came a day after newly-elected President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed arrived in the capital for the first time since taking office.

Source: AFP, Feb 08, 2009