Gun battles between Somali government forces and Islamist rebels left at least five civilians dead and several others wounded in Mogadishu on Tuesday, with both insurgents and government troops claiming to have taken control of the Taleh area.
AFP - Gunbattles between Somali government forces and Islamist insurgents killed at least five civilians in Mogadishu Tuesday, witnesses and medical sources said.
Troops of the embattled government raided insurgent positions in the south of the war-scarred city, sparking heavy fire exchanges that also wounded seven other civilians.
"I saw the bodies of three civilians who died in the crossfire," Hasan Elmi, a witness told AFP.
Two civilians were killed when the clashes resumed later in the day.
"We have collected two dead bodies of civilians, including a woman. They were all caught in the crossfire," said Ahmed Adan, an ambulance driver, adding that seven civilians were wounded in the firefight.
Sheik Mohamed Osman Arus, a commander of the radical Hezb al-Islam group said they repelled the government troops, a claim denied by their rivals.
"They attacked our forces in Taleh area this morning but we pushed them back with great losses. We are now controlling the area," Arus said.
Somali government security official Mohamed Duale said: "We pushed then back taking control of some of their positions."
The two sides have clashed repeatedly for control of the war-wracked city, killing and wounding civilians, many of whom have fled Mogadishu.
Date created : 2010-03-24