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Heavy fighting kills 2 in Mogadishu
www.chinaview.cn 2007-03-23 23:14:43
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    MOGADISHU, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Two people were killed and eight others wounded after a renewed heavy fighting broke out in the Somali capital Mogadishu Friday between clan insurgents and Somali transitional government troops backed by Ethiopian soldiers, hospital sources and eyewitnesses said.

    "There are two dead people lying in the streets near my house," Ibrahim Omar, a resident, told Xinhua.

    "We have received eight new cases of people with bullet and shrapnel wounds today since the fighting resumed," a senior nurse who sought anonymity told Xinhua.

    Intermittent sound of artillery and small gunfire could be heard throughout the city. Many people are still fleeing the capital to neighboring towns.

    The fighting on Friday morning comes less than 10 hours after leaders of Hawiye clan, who oppose the transition government of President Abdullahi Yusuf, announced that they have signed a cease-fire agreement with Ethiopian military officials.

    Hawiye clan spokesman Ahmed Diriye said their militia's are fighting the transitional government because Yusuf wants to use Ethiopian soldiers to disarm the Hawiye alone and not the other clans.

    "The disarmament of Hawiye clan is in contravention of the national charter because it was agreed that all clans in Somali be equally and simultaneously disarmed," Diriye, told a local Radio Friday. "He (Abdullahi Yusuf) calls us Islamic Courts insurgents as a cover to disarm us and kill our children. We shall defend ourselves."

    There has been an upsurge of sporadic attacks in Somalia particularly the capital, Mogadishu, since the Ethiopian-backed government routed Islamists in December last year. The government has blamed remnants of the defeated Islamist movement, who are reportedly in Mogadishu under clan protection, for almost daily attacks.

    The Somali government has pledged to pacify the city in time for the scheduled April 16 national reconciliation congress to beheld in Mogadishu which is expected to be attended by 3,000delegates from inside and outside Somalia. The Somali Parliament based in Baidoa, a town 250km south of Mogadishu, has voted unanimously to relocate the cabinet to Mogadishu early last week.

    Somalia has not had an effective national government since 1991,when warlords overthrew former ruler Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on one another, throwing the country into anarchy.

    The transitional government was formed in 2004 with U.N. help, but has little authority across the country because it has no real army or police force.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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