13 killed in Somali violence

May 23rd, 2010 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Mogadishu, May 23 (IANS) Thirteen people were killed and 30 injured in clashes between Islamist insurgents and government forces backed by African Union peacekeepers in the Somali capital Sunday, witnesses and hospital sources said.
Heavy exchanges of shelling that ensued hit the districts of Hodon, Hawlwadag and Wardogley in rebel-dominated southern Mogadishu.

“So far we have ferried about 25 people to different hospitals in the city and our staff saw bodies of three civilians in the districts where shelling occurred,” Ali Muse, head of the local ambulance service told Xinhua.

The local media said 10 more civilians were killed and five injured in northern Mogadishu.

“The shells were landing continuously in our areas and as many as 10 people died in the shelling,” Yahya Daahir, a resident of Shibis district said.

Both Islamist fighters and Somali government officials claimed victory over each other in the latest clashes that started early Sunday.

Spokesman of the hard-line Islamist Al Shabaab movement Sheikh Ali Mohaoud Raageh has claimed that his group inflicted heavy losses on the government side.

Somali government officials denied the Islamist claims, saying the fighting is “still raging in Islamist strong-holds”.

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