Civilians killed in Somali clashes

Fighters target government and foreign forces in war-torn Mogadishu.

    The Somali capital has been the scene of
    numerous steet battles [AFP]

    Ali Musa, the head of the capital's ambulance services, said that most of the wounded transported to hospital were civilians.

    Civilians injured

    One woman told Al Jazeera her family had narrowly escaped serious harm.

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    "We were sitting outside our home. A shell landed right at our house's door. My husband, child and myself were injured, but not seriously," she said.

    Somalia's UN-backed government is battling fighters who have threatened to seize Mogadishu and overthrow the administration.

    Al-Shabab, the main, armed anti-government group, controls much of Somalia's south and has stepped up its attacks on the capital.

    Berri Mohamad, an al-Shabab field commander, told Al Jazeera the fight was also against foreign forces in Somalia.

    "This war is a part of a battle against foreign troops and enemies of Islam," he said.

    "We will continue until we force them all out and until we free the country of every foreign soldier and of those who serve them. We will only stop the war when Allah's shariah [Islamic law] is established in Somalia,”  he said.

    The government has said it is engaged in reconciliation talks with both al-Shabab and Hezb al-Islam, another key rebel group in Somalia.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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