Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
20 dead, 15 hurt in Somali clashes

Associated Press
Friday, January 18, 2008

At least 20 people were killed and 15 wounded in heavy clashes in the Somali capital, witnesses said on Friday.

Residents of Mogadishu said Ethiopian troops and their Somali government allies had come under attack by Islamic insurgents in the south of the city, sparking mortar and artillery battles that killed six civilians and wounded ten.

Two Ethiopian and two Somali soldiers were among the dead, witnesses said.

Mohamed Haji, a resident who lives near the Ethiopian base in a football stadium in the south of the city, said insurgents had attacked the Ethiopians with rocket propelled grenades and mortars when they tried to leave their base. He saw two dead Ethiopian soldiers, he said. Another resident, Khadar Nuure, said she also saw two dead Ethiopian troops and another two dead Somali government troops.

Shamso Sheikh Nor said that when the Ethiopians began returning mortar and artillery fire, three of her neighbours were killed and one was wounded when a shell landed on their house.

Said Mohamud Dhore said three of his neighbours had also been killed when their house was shelled in a different neighbourhood.

Another three people were killed in a separate neighbourhood. Two died when their house was hit by a mortar, and another was killed by stray gunfire, said Hassan Ahmed Rage.

Resident Mahad Farah added, ''we heard the gunfire. Mortars landed and we started to flee to a nearby concrete building. A mortar landed and killed two people who were also running beside me.''

Source: AP, Jan 18, 2008


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