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AU attacks al-Shabaab in Mogadishu

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th September 2010 03:00 AM

AT least 11 people, including civilians, died on Wednesday fighting as African Union (AU) troops backing the Somali government attacked the hardline al-Shabaab rebels in the north of Mogadishu.

AT least 11 people, including civilians, died on Wednesday fighting as African Union (AU) troops backing the Somali government attacked the hardline al-Shabaab rebels in the north of Mogadishu.

Other clashes erupted in the south of the war-ravaged Somali capital.

“The violent elements serving al-Qaeda tried to advance to the government controlled areas on Tuesday but they were moved back this afternoon and there are many of their dead fighters lying around the positions they fled,” government security official Mohamed Adan said.

Adan said three of their soldiers were killed and seven wounded. Witnesses in Mogadishu’s southern Hodan district said some of the injured were still trapped inside their houses amid the clashes.

Mogadishu has been gripped by heavy fighting in recent weeks as al-Shabaab intensified a drive to oust the Western-backed Somali government. Both the al-Qaeda-inspired al-Shabaab and the African Union mission in Somalia claimed to have the upper hand, two weeks after fighting intensified when the insurgents announced another push to topple the government. On Tuesday, AMISOM spokesman Bahoku Barigye denied claims by the Islamists that the insurgents had re-captured any positions.

“There are no positions taken by the terrorists. Over the last several days, our forces have created many positions... For us, we are winning this war,” said Barigye.

AMISOM says it currently has 7,200 troops deployed in Mogadishu and claimed last week it had been steadily increasing its area of control in the Somali capital.

The United Nations’s refugee agency said on Tuesday that at least 230 civilians had been killed and 23,000 displaced by the fighting in Mogadishu over the past two weeks.

AU attacks al-Shabaab in Mogadishu

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