More civilian deaths as Shebab advances in Mogadishu


Overnight fighting in Mogadishu left at least 11 civilians dead as Islamist al Shebab insurgents advance into areas held by pro-government forces.


The clashes started late Friday and continued overnight, with shooting and shelling reported on Saurday morning. Residents have fled much of the area.

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The deaths bring the civilian death toll since fighting erupted on Monday to at least 80.

Pro-government Sufi fighters have retreated from positions in areas in the south of the city, officials say, adding that they have sent in “heavily armed military units” and that the situation is now under control.

But Shebab leaders claim their forces are still advancing. They are heading for Maka Al-Mukarama road, the only direct supply route linking the presidential palace and the airport.

"We have advanced onto the enemy lines and taken control of their barracks near Maka Al-Mukarama road,” Sbebab spokesperson Sheik Ali Mohamoud Rage said. “I tell you today that this war is aimed to finish the apostate regime and their African invaders."

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