20 killed in Somalia clashesApril 4th, 2008 - 1:00 am ICT by admin
Mogadishu, April 3 (DPA) Somali troops and Islamist insurgents clashed Thursday, leaving at least 20 people killed and 30 injured in some of the worst fighting in weeks in the country. The fighting broke out early Thursday in Dayeeno, some 650 km north of the capital Mogadishu, after Islamist militias ambushed transitional government troops, using rocket-propelled grenades and other heavy artillery.
In the 30-minute battle, the Islamists managed to oust the troops, killing at least 15 of them.
“A short time of fierce fighting caused numerous deaths. Wounded people are just streaming past me,” said Mohamed Moalim, who witnessed the violence.
Another ambush attack rocked Qansah Dhere, 90 km southwest of Baidoa, the provincial capital that houses the government, as Islamist fighters killed three soldiers and wounded eight others, officials said.
“They intended to kill me but my bodyguards defended me,” said Abdi Fatah Mohamed Gasey, the regional governor.
Anarchic Somalia has been convulsed by violence since the Ethiopian-backed transitional government toppled a popular Islamist group in January 2007. It was plunged into civil war in 1991.
The UN has called Somalia’s conflict the “world’s worst and most neglected humanitarian crisis” with a raging insurgency in Mogadishu and violence in other parts of the country forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes.
Tags: abdi, ambush, bodyguards, capital mogadishu, clashes, fatah, fierce fighting, government troops, heavy artillery, humanitarian crisis, insurgency, islamist group, islamists, militias, mohamed, provincial capital, regional governor, rocket propelled grenades, three soldiers, transitional government