[dehai-news] (Reuters): Eleven killed in fighting in Somalia's capital

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Dec 17 2008 - 14:36:33 EST

Eleven killed in fighting in Somalia's capital

Wed 17 Dec 2008, 18:51 GMT

 MOGADISHU, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Eleven people were killed on Wednesday in
fighting between Islamist insurgents and Ethiopian forces in the north of
Somalia's capital Mogadishu, residents and witnesses said.

The insurgents control the south of Somalia and carry out near-daily
Iraqi-style assassinations and roadside bombings on government troops and
their Ethiopian allies in the chaotic Horn of Africa nation.

A spokesman for the hardline al Shabaab Islamists, which is on Washington's
list of foreign terrorist groups, said a senior official, Abdullahi Salad
Farah, was killed in the clashes.

"We shall continue the war until foreign troops get out of the country," al
Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Muktar Robow Ali Abu Mansoor, told reporters,
adding that many Ethiopian soldiers had been killed in the fighting.

Residents said insurgents opened fire on Ethiopian troops patrolling
neighbourhoods in the Livestock Market area early on Wednesday and the
Ethiopians responded with heavy weapons.

Resident Omar Nur told Reuters a woman and three children were killed by
mortars that landed on adjacent houses. Isa Bayle, another resident, said
the mortar exchanges killed three people as they fled their homes.

Sheikh Abdirahim Isse Adow, spokesman for the Islamic Courts insurgent
movement, said two of its fighters were killed. The Islamic Courts were
driven from the capital two years ago by Somali and Ethiopian forces.

Ethiopia said last month it would pull its troops out by the end of the year
and there are fears the country could descend further into anarchy unless
more peacekeepers are sent soon.

The fractured Western-backed administration controls only Mogadishu and the
seat of parliament, Baidoa, and the insurgents are camped on the outskirts
of the capital.

The United States said on Tuesday that a United Nations peacekeeping force
should be deployed in Somalia and it would push for a Security Council
resolution authorising one by the end of the year.

Mogadishu resident Halima said the shelling resumed in the afternoon,
killing more people who had returned to their homes. (Reporting by Abdi
Sheikh, Abdi Guled and Ibrahim Mohamed in Mogadishu; Editing by David

C Reuters 2008. All Rights Reserved.


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