Somalia Violence Escalates

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The death toll of Wednesday’s violence in the Somalia capital Mogadishu rose to 20 people with more than 80 wounded—some of them seriously, medical sources said late Wednesday.

Medical officials in Media hospital in south of Mogadishu confirmed that the number of wounded people has increased. “The number of injured civilians being brought to the hospital reached to more than 80, mostly they were hit by stray round bullets and shrapnel of the artillery shells,� one health official at the hospital said.

Nine of the dead people were belonging to the transitional federal government. Crowds dragged and burnt two of the government soldiers in the streets of Mogadishu.

Masked men, supposedly supporters of the ousted Islamists, fought with the government troops backed by the Ethiopian forces in three locations of south and northern Mogadishu where the rival sides engaged in fierce clashes. Today’s gun battles which were the worst since the Ethiopian backed transitional government arrived in the capital forced many villagers to flee their homes in fear—as mortar and rocket shells were exchanged.

Self organized local militia men could be seen in the streets of Mogadishu manning roadblocks and checking up all cars and ready to repel any government soldiers.

Meanwhile, a fresh gun battle erupted northern outskirt of Mogadishu where the interim government forces clashed with local militants.

There is no immediate casualty on both sides as the exchanging artilleries reached residential areas. Many people grew concerned that the fighting might spread into other areas.


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