Friday, June 20, 2008
MOGADISHU (AFP) — At least 13 people, most of them civilians, were
killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu when fighting broke out between
Islamic insurgents and Ethiopian forces, witnesses and officials said
The clashes erupted late Thursday after insurgents
attacked Gulwadeyaasha camp, a Somali government base in southern
Mogadishu, as well as a stadium where Ethiopian forces are based.
troops -- who have been supporting the transitional Somali government
-- retaliated by raining mortar fire on surrounding neighbourhoods.
civilians, two of them children, were killed when a mortar shell
smashed into their home in the southern Wardhigley neighbourhood,
relatives and residents told AFP.
"My uncle's wife, two of her
chilrdren and a guest were killed when a mortar shell struck their
house. We are now planning for their burial," Ahmed Abdulahi Gobe, a
In another incident, five members of the same familly were killed in the northern Gubta neighbourhood.
shells rained down on our neighbourhood and so far I have seen five
innocent civilians from the same family killed, three of them
children," local elder Husein Yusuf Ahmed said.
Ali Ibrahim Moalim, another local resident, gave the same death toll and added that seven others were wounded in the violence.
witnesses also told AFP that two civilians were killed in Mogadishu's
southern district when they were caught in crossfire during fighting
between Ethiopian troops and insurgents.
Abdurahim Ise Addo, a spokesman for the rebel Islamic Courts Union, admitted to two deaths in insurgent ranks.
He also claimed his forces killed 10 Somali and Ethiopian soldiers in Thursday night's fighting.
"We killed 10 soldiers from Ethiopia and its Somali stooges. We also lost two fighters," Abdurahim said.
The number of casualties among Ethiopian and Somali government troops could not immediately be confirmed.
have borne the brunt of the violence that has plagued Mogadishu and
other parts of Somalia since Ethiopian forces intervened to help an
embattled government oust the Islamic Courts Union in late 2006.
to several rights organisations and aid groups, at least 6,000
civilians were killed over the past 12 months of fighting.
June 9, the transitional government and the main Islamist-dominated
opposition alliance agreed on a document that stipulates a truce should
take effect within a month.
SOURCE: AFP, June 20, 2008