Somalia

Six die in fresh fighting in Mogadishu

Photo: Reuters / Feisal Omar

New clashes in Mogadishu killed six people early on Wednesday, according to witnesses. Following Tuesday’s attack on a Mogadishu hotel which killed 30 people the Somali transitional government, European Union, United States and United Nations have all spoken out in condemnation.

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Fresh fighting broke out in northern and southern parts of the Somali capital early on Wednesday after a night of heavy artillery fire between the two sides.

Witnesses cited by the AFP news agency said six civilians died when a mortar shell hit their houses. Ambulance services in Mogadishu said they collected 18 injured people.

“Thanks to Allah, we have killed many soldiers and the mujahideen fighters are now in full control of their last strongholds,” said Sheik Abdiaziz Abu-Muscab, Shebab’s military spokesperson.

This latest fighting comes after Tuesday’s suicide attack which killed 30 people including six Somali lawmakers.

Two Islamist militants dressed as soldiers detonated their explosives in the three-storey Hotel Mona, after shooting dead security guards.

“This is a deplorable act in this holy month of Ramadan. It shows their brutality and lack of respect for humanity,” Somali Information Minister Addirahman Omar Osman Yarisow said in a statement.

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A spokesperson for European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton condemned Tuesday’s attack.

“The EU extends its sincere condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured in this unacceptable incident, and expresses once again, the European Union’s solidarity to the Somali people,” Darren Ennis told RFI.

US State Department spokesperson Philip Crowley said the hotel attack “highlights Al-Shebab’s complete disregard for human life, Somali culture, and Islamic values”.

The UN also spoke out against the suicide bombing.

“These callous, brutal acts, which were clearly aimed at causing maximum bloodshed to innocent people, defy rational comprehension,” said Augustine Mahiga, the UN special representative for Somalia.

Meanwhile the Ugandan army has said this latest attack by Al-Shebab will not affect their commitment to the African Union mission in Somalia (Amisom).

“They will not halt our deployment plan and we are looking too at additional deployments from Guinea and Djibouti,” Ugandan army colonel Felix Kulayigye told RFI.

“They attempted to overthrow the TFG [Transitional Federal Government]. They did not succeed. They have been thrown out of all the positions they captured since 12 July,” he added.

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