Somalia: Islamic insurgents raid Ethiopian troops in capital

Published on Sunday 15th June 2008

Somalia: Armed Islamic courts fighters attacked the Ethiopian troops based at ex-pasta industry where an hour last battle happened later on sunday, shortly after mortar attacks were aimed at Ethiopian troops based at Heila Barise Ethiopian military camp close to the Pasta factory in Mogadishu according to the residents.

"They are fighting with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machineguns," said resident Hassan Nor who was trapped by the gunfire at a nearby house.

Another eyewitness said the fighting had spread to the northern part of the city. "There is now intense fighting going on around Heile Barise in north Mogadishu."

He said many families were trying to get out of the conflict zone. "It is a very confused situation. People are wandering from one area to another hoping that it would be safer."

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties in the earlier mortar strikes on Ethiopian troop’s army base, where more than a dozen explosions could be heard, agency reports said.

The islamists have vowed to attack any foreign troops and the interim government following Ethiopian allied government troops ousted their Islamic rule.

They have mounted almost daily attacks since the government took over the capital in late December.