Mogadishu, Somalia, April 3, 2010 – At least 20
people were killed Friday after an intense battle between government
forces and Islamic insurgents in the Somali capital, medical officials
Friday's fighting follows a lull of about two weeks, since scores of
civilians were killed in two days of violence in the capital.
Military spokesman Col. Ibrahim Kalmoy said the fighting started when
insurgents attacked government soldiers in southern Mogadishu in the
Taleh area. He said three soldiers were wounded during the fighting.
"The enemy was forced to disappear," said Kalmoy. African Union troops,
deployed in Mogadishu to guard key government installations, backed the
government troops during the fighting.
Ali Muse, of Mogadishu's ambulance service, said staff counted at least
15 civilians killed. Dr. Mohamed Yusuf of Medina Hospital said five of
the wounded brought to Medina died from their wounds.
Islamic insurgents control much of Mogadishu and have been trying to
topple the fragile government for three years.
So far they have not been able to take and hold enough ground for a
decisive victory. The government side, on the other hand, only controls
a few blocks in Mogadishu and is dependent on the 5,100-strong African
Union peacekeeping force.
The Somali capital has been the epicenter of almost never-ending
violence in the Horn of Africa nation since the last effective
government collapsed in 1991. That year saw warlords overthrow longtime
dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre and then turn on each other, plunging
Somalia into anarchy and chaos.
Source: The Associated Press, Friday, April 2, 2010