Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Fierce gun battle rocks Mogadishu

Islamist fighters (File photo)
Islamists again control much of Somalia

At least 15 people have been killed after insurgents attacked the Somali capital, Mogadishu, witnesses say.

Heavily armed men were repulsed after they attacked the house of district commissioner Ahmed Da'i just after dawn prayers, resident Ahmed Mumin said.

Mr Da'i confirmed the attack and said the bodies of the attackers "now littered the streets".

The raid comes on the day Ethiopian troops are due to start leaving Somalia, under a recent peace deal.

The BBC's Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says there is no sign yet that the planned Ethiopian withdrawal from Mogadishu's residential areas has begun.

They [bodies] were unfamiliar faces in the our district, so we think they were the insurgents
Dahir Mohamed
South Mogadishu resident

He says in contrast, they started patrolling in new areas of north-east Mogadishu, leading to clashes with residents and insurgents.

The pull-out is due to finish on 29 December, according to the UN-brokered deal between the government and some moderate Islamist groups.

The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution imposing sanctions - an assets freeze and travel ban - on anyone threatening peace in Somalia.

"The prime goal of this is to provide a framework to stem the flow of arms into Somalia, which is causing such mayhem there," said John Sawers, the UN ambassador of the UK, which drafted the resolution.

The resolution also mentions anyone disrupting aid deliveries.

Mosque killing

Meanwhile, a gunman has killed one clan elder and wounded three others in an attack inside a mosque near the northern town of Hargeisa.

Hargeisa is the capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, which has been spared much of the violence of the rest of the country.

Government officials say there were two hours of fighting between insurgents and security officials in south Mogadishu.

The bodies of at least 15 of those killed were displayed by the authorities.

"They were unfamiliar faces in the our district, so we think they were the insurgents," said resident Dahir Mohamed.

The Islamists have not commented on the incident.

Ethiopia sent troops into Somalia two years to help the transitional government oust Islamists from Mogadishu and surrounding areas.

But President Abdullahi Yusuf last week admitted that Islamists now control most of the southern part of the country.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific