10 killed in rebel-government clashes in Somalia
Islamic insurgents and Somali forces clashes in the capital Mogadishu have killed at least 10 people as rebels advance into areas controlled by the United Nations mission, a government official has reported.
The reports said out of the 10 people killed, three of them were civilians while the remainder were fighters.
An official said a group of armed militias attacked
government forces working at the checkpoint in the northern neighbourhood of Sinay late on Tuesday, while another fighting broke out in Medina, saying Tuesday evening clashes were the heaviest fighting in the capital since the government’s Ethiopian allies withdrew from Somalia earlier this month.
Islamist commander Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim claimed government forces attacked his men at Police station in Madina neighbourhood, provoking his mento fight.
Last week, Islamist fighters waged an attack in the capital and took over some of the abandoned bases vacated by the Ethiopian troops. However, reports said rebels have also began to fight among themselves, with extremists hoping to oust the transitional government.
Ethiopian troops, who had invaded Somalia in late 2006 to support a weak transitional government and remove an Islamist militia from power, have pulled out of Mogadishu earlier this month.
Their withdrawal had been widely criticised by international communities, saying this could fuel more tensions and instability. However, Ethiopia’s withdrawal was cheered by Somalis as it was some of the prerequisite of Islamist rebels before they could append a signature on any peace deal.
The Horn of Africa nation has not had a functioning government for almost two decades since the clan-based militias overthrew the dictator in 1991.