Fresh Somalia clashes claim lives

At least eight people have died in southern Mogadishu after being caught in the crossfire of a fierce fight between Ethiopian troops and armed men.

Fresh Somalia clashes claim lives

"Gunmen attacked an Ethiopian base in the former ministry of defence building. They fired mortar shells and machine guns and the Ethiopians responded," Ali Nur Said, a witness, said on Friday.

"The gunmen drove away after the ambush," said Hussein Sheikh Farah, who lives near the facility in the Somali capital.
Witnesses said the eight, including some children, were killed by stray mortar shells and bullets.

"The situation is very grave. Three children have been killed, they were from the same family," said Mohamed Gure Hassan, a resident in Shiirkole area in southern Mogadishu.

Two other people were killed in northern Mogadishu's Sanaa area by a long range shell, spreading panic in the area that had been spared in the recent days, said Abdulahi Shegow.


Three others died near the capital's main Bakara market, including a woman and an old man killed by stray bullets, witnesses said.

Ugandan deployment

A Ugandan delegation in Mogadishu on Friday said Ugandan forces would be deployed "as soon as possible," according to Salad Ali Jelle, the Somali deputy defence minister.


Ruth Nankabirwa, Uganda's deputy defence minister said: "The troops are ready to deploy and they are on standby mode."


She said Uganda was now waiting for air transport from Algeria to finalise the deployment.


Uganda was due to give further details at a news conference in Kampala, Uganda's capital, on Saturday.


Somalia this week saw some of the heaviest fighting since Ethiopian troops helped the Somali government defeat the Union of Islamic Courts from Mogadishu late last year.


The country is awaiting the deployment of an African Union (AU) force of 8,000 troops, approved on Tuesday by the UN Security Council.


The force will seek to help the transitional government - supported by many of the clan commanders whose rival militias carved up Somalia after Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991 - to restore order in Mogadishu.


But the AU has so far managed to raise only half of the required peacekeepers, with possible troop pledges from Nigeria, Burundi, Malawi and Ghana as well as Uganda, which has offered 1,500 troops.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16