Hundreds of civilians are reportedly fleeing
Residents pushed carts loaded with their belongings through thecity after the government ordered them to leave certain areas for"security reasons".
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Ethiopians tanks reportedly opened fire when a Somaligovernment base they were guarding came under attack on Thursday and troops ina southern neighbourhood were seen shooting into the air.
Amina Sabriye, a mother-of-six, told the AFP news agency asshe fled from the Shirkole neighbourhood: "All the fighting sides are makingwarlike statements and are preparing for war.
"The worst decision is to stay one more day in
Mohamed Mukhtar Sadiq, another resident, said: "I have never seen a massexodus at this scale in the recent years."
Salad Ali Jelle, the deputy defence minister, told a news conference onThursday: "The fighting in
"We will pursue our aim of stabilising
He also claimed al-Qaeda had named Aden Hashi Ayro as its leader in
"After Somali terrorists made consultations with al-Qaeda, Ayro was namedas chief of al-Qaeda in
The Hawiye clan, seen by many as the instigators of many of the recent attacksin
Most of the Islamist Courts Union fighters, whocontrolled
"We see this war as an act of aggression," Ahmed Dirie, a clanspokesman, said.
At least 40,000 people have been displaced by violence since the start ofthe year.
After Ethiopian troops entered
The bodies of several soldiers either from the Somaliinterim government forces and Ethiopian army were apparently draggedthrough the streets by an angry crowd after Wednesday's fighting.
However, in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons, MelesZenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister, denied his soldiers were trapped in adangerous "quagmire" in
"We are not in a quagmire now; we have completed our first phase ofwithdrawal, we'll complete our second phase of withdrawal in a few days' timeand things are improving in
Zenawi also claimed that the security problems in
"Of course, there are challenges in Mogadishu, but the rest of Somalia isvery stable and even in the case of Mogadishu, taking into consideration thefact that this is a city of 2.2 million people, awash with guns, the type ofsecurity challenge we currently face are not all that unexpected oralarming," he said.
One of the leaders of the Islamic Courts has defended theviolence, saying people had a right to defend themselves against foreigninvasions.
Source:AgenciesGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16