MOGADISHU (Somalilandpress) — At least 9 civilians were killed and 14 others wounded in clashes between Somali government troops and insurgents in Mogadishu on Thursday and Friday, Human rights group said.

The heavy fighting erupted late on Thursday and continued into Friday morning in the capital in one of the bloodiest days in recent weeks.

A Mogadishu based Elman Peace and Human Rights Organization said “casualties are from the overnight shelling,” and added that they were still monitoring Monday’s casualties.

“We saw al Shabaab carrying their dead and injured in a minibus. But we do not know the exact figure of the deaths,” Hassan Nur, a resident, told Reuters.

“The government shells almost leveled houses that housed local and foreign Al-Shabab fighters,” he added.

Government officials could not be reached for comment about the casualties.
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Somali government are battling with Al-Qaeda inspired Al-shabab fighters who run most of southern Somalia while the government controls few areas in the capital backed by Ugandan and Burundi troops.

The fighting in Somalia has killed over 19,000 Somalis since 2007 and displaced another 1.5 million. Somalia is one of the world’s worst humanitarian emergencies.

Somalia has not had an effective government since warlords overthrew longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Muhudin Ahmed Roble
Somalilandpress, 8 February 2010