Fighting delays Somalia peace talks

Three people killed as government forces and clan fighters clash in Mogadishu.

    A local assessment team counted 1,086 people killed in four days of fighting that began on March 29

    Trenches dug

    But the sight of Hawiye and Islamic Courts fighters digging trenches has fuelled fears of new violence.

    Malun Abdi, a Somali living close to the scene of the fighting, said she saw the bodies of two clansmen.
       
    She said: "They were still holding their AK-47s. They must have been insurgents because they were not wearing government uniform."

    Salad Ali Gele, deputy defence minister, said the government side had also suffered casualties.

    He said: "The government have lost one soldier and three other soldiers were wounded."

    Hussein Siyaad, an Hawiye elder, said: "Some of our men have been defending themselves against the government. The ceasefire has not been affected by the skirmishes."

    Siyaad said that Ethiopian forces were not involved in the clashes.  

    Government offensive

    The International Committee of the Red Cross said the recent battles were the city's worst for more than 15 years.

    Your Views

    "The situation is Somalia has gone from bad to worse after the intervention of Ethiopian troops"

    Abed, Kumasi, Ghana

    Send us your views

    They were triggered when government and Ethiopian forces began a disarmament drive that grew into an offensive to crush opposition fighters before a planned reconciliation meeting on April 16.

    Samir Hosni, an Arab League official, said that a conference had now been postponed for a month until the middle of May because of the insecurity.

    The interim government, formed in 2004, has struggled to impose its authority over Mogadishu since defeating rival Islamic Courts leaders in a campaign in January backed by Ethiopian soldiers, tanks and aircraft.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.