Deadly Clashes Rock in Somali Capital Mogadishu

Published on Wednesday 7th July 2010 Deadly Clashes Rock in Somali Capital Mogadishu

At least 16 people have been killed in fighting between government forces and Islamist insurgents. On Monday east African heads of state pledged 2,000 troops to protect the Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

Most of the victims were insurgents who died in attacks on the shrinking territory controlled by the Somali government in north-eastern Mogadishu.

"Violent elements attacked government forces in northern Mogadishu, sparking heavy fighting. They were defeated and several of their fighters were killed," government security officer Mohamed Abdirahman said.

"Two of our soldiers were also killed as well as three civilians who were caught in the crossfire," he added.

The combatants of the Islamist al Shebab movement, which controls most of the country, have been targeting government forces so that they may take positions and take on the forces of the African Union mission in Somalia and disrupt their supplies.

Over 40 civilians have been in killed over the last week in Mogadishu as al Shebab fighters have closed in on the presidential palace.

On Monday, the Somali president appealed to east African heads of state to beef up the African Union troops in the country during a meeting of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (Igad) in Addis Ababa. Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan pledged to send 2,000 troops to Somalia, bringing the total number of AU troops in Somalia to 8,100.

Igad members vowed to send the troops in September, but failed to specify which countries would be contributing to the force.



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