From: Yemane Natnael (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Dec 06 2008 - 18:21:41 EST
Shelling kills civilians in Somalia
Dec 6, 2008
Mogadishu - At least 15 Somali civilians died and many others were wounded when Ethiopian forces shelled an insurgent stronghold in north Mogadishu on Friday, witnesses said on Saturday.
"In a vegetable market around me, five civilians died on the spot instantly after a shell landed," Fadumo Yusuf, a shopkeeper, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
"The shells landed consecutively and it was to difficult to escape."
Another resident in the area Abdi Wahab told dpa that around seven other dead civilians could seen in the area and ten wounded people were rushed to hospitals.
Islamist spokesman Sheikh Abdirahin Isse Adow condemned the shelling.
"This is a very bad action against civilians - Ethiopians aggressively bombed residential areas today," Adow charged.
It is not clear why the Ethiopian troops bombed the area, as no attack against their forces had been reported.
Ethiopian forces invaded in 2006 to help kick out the Islamic Courts' Union (ICU) - a hardline Islamist regime that was in power for six months.
A bloody insurgency then began in early 2007. Aid agencies say around 10 000 civilians have died and about a million have fled to avoid the crossfire.
Islamist insurgent group al-Shabaab has made huge gains in recent months.
Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed recently admitted that the insurgents control most of southern and central Somalia and are now perched on the edge of the capital Mogadishu.
Ethiopia recently said it would pull out its troops by the end of the year, leading some analysts to warn that fighting could intensify as various insurgent factions turn on each other.
The Horn of Africa nation has been plagued by chaos and civil war since the ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. - Sapa-dpa
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