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Fighting Continues in Somalia

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    Somalia fighting continues for the fifth day as five are killed Monday Aweys Osman Yusuf Mogadishu 23, April.07 ( Sh.M.Network) Fighting between Ethiopian
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2007
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      Somalia fighting continues for the fifth day as five are killed Monday
      Aweys Osman Yusuf


      Mogadishu 23, April.07 ( Sh.M.Network) Fighting between Ethiopian
      troops along with government forces and Islamic insurgents backed by
      clan militias continues in the Somali capital Mogadishu for the fifth
      straight day. Ethiopian military forces have been firing rockets from
      the presidential palace, and former army compound in south of the
      capital targeting neighborhoods in north of Mogadishu, insurgent
      strongholds.

      At least five civilians were killed and more than 10 were wounded in
      Shibis and Suq Ba'ad neighborhoods in north of the capital early
      Monday morning. According to witnesses, the victims were fleeing the
      areas when they were hit by stray bullets.

      Somalia Deputy Defense Minister, Salad Alai Jelle, told local
      journalists on Sunday that the Somali transitional government was
      determined to pacify the gun-infested capital, calling on civilians
      remaining in areas where the battle rages to leave their homes.

      The fighting continues despite the government's lack of efforts to
      assist thousands of families who are lingering under the trees of
      southern provinces of the country and on the outskirts of the capital
      after they fled the war going on in hot-blooded city.

      Torrential artilleries and mortar rounds are landing at Jamhuriah
      neighborhood, north of the capital, as the deafening sounds of the
      explosions could be throughout the city on Monday.

      Hawiye clan political leader, Abdulahi Sheik Ismail, told Shabelle
      Monday morning that there was ongoing ceasefire agreement being
      brokered by the clan leaders and Ethiopian officers in the country, so
      far fighting continues in the capital.

      ===

      Shelling traps Somalis in capital
      The fighting has raged for six days
      Shabelle Media Network Somalia


      Heavy shelling is taking place as Ethiopian-backed government forces
      battle insurgents in Somalia's capital.

      Ethiopian tanks have been pursuing Islamists and local militias into
      their stronghold in the north of Mogadishu.

      The United Nations refugee agency says many residents are trapped in
      the fighting as roads leading out of Mogadishu have been blocked.
      Some 250 people have been killed during the last six days of fighting
      and thousands are fleeing the capital.

      Somalia's deputy defence minister Salad Ali Jelle has asked people
      living near insurgent strongholds to move out before a planned attack
      on the rebels.

      Ethiopian forces have been in Mogadishu since December last year after
      helping Somalia's transitional government oust the Union of Islamic
      Courts (UIC).

      The insurgents are believed to be a mixture of Islamists and
      militiamen from the Hawiye clan - the largest in Mogadishu.

      Fleeing

      Many bodies are lying around Mogadishu and hundreds of people are
      fleeing towards the Kenyan border, says the BBC Swahili reporter
      Khadra Mohammed said.

      Some have serious injuries and need urgent medical attention, she says.

      Only people with money are able to move out of the capital on public
      transport vans, most of the dead are poor people, our correspondent says.

      UNHCR spokesperson Catherine Weibel has told the BBC they are now
      providing relief supplies to about 20,000 displaced people out of the
      more than 300,000 who have fled the violence.

      Eritrea which is accused of supporting insurgents opposed to the
      Somalia's transitional government has suspended its membership from
      the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), the East
      African regional body that brokered the Somali peace process.

      The withdrawal from the seven-member Igad group was the latest sign of
      deteriorating relations between Asmara and regional countries over
      Somalia.

      "It's a temporary withdrawal. We feel that it's not responsible to
      stay in that organisation when decisions are being made that are not
      legally or morally acceptable," Information Minister Ali Abdu told
      Reuters News Agency.

      An Eritrean representative at the recent Igad meeting held in Kenya's
      capital, Nairobi, clashed with his Ethiopian counterpart over their
      presence in Somalia.

      Eritrea has denied accusations from Ethiopia and America that it is
      supplying arms to insurgents opposed to the transitional government.

      Somalia has not had a functional government since 1991. A transitional
      government was formed in 2004, but has so far failed to take full
      control of the country.

      Ethiopian troops have started to withdraw, to be replaced by an
      African Union peacekeeping force, but only 1,200 of the 8,000 troops
      the AU says it needs have been deployed.

      *********************************************************************

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