African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Five die in fierce gun battle in Somalia after insurgents shell an Ethiopian camp

Posted by African Press International on May 25, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

At least five people died, including three Ethiopian soldiers after a fierce gun battle rocked Tofik Junction in north Mogadishu, when Islamist insurgents attacked at dawn on an Ethiopian bases at the former soccer stadium on Saturday morning, eyewitnesses told APA.

The Islamist insurgents first launched an attack at dawn on the Ethiopian camp with rocket propelled grenades, according to the residents, at least six shells landed inside the camp.

“Early in the morning, I woke up to the sound of mortar shells landing in our neighborhood. I realised that they were being directed at the Ethiopian camp located near our area,” Saalim Darman, a resident, told APA.

During the shelling, the Ethiopians soldiers began to come out of the camp and engage in a face to face fighting with the Islamist insurgents who were believed to be waiting for them near their camps.

As the fighting continued, the battle got intensive after a grenade thrown by the Islamist militants hit three Ethiopians, killing all three on the spot, the eyewitnesses said.

“The insurgents threw grenades at the Ethiopians soldiers and shattered killed three of them instantly. Other Somali and Ethiopian soldiers later joined the fighting, chasing the Islamist rebels,” Adirahman Ali, a resident in the area told APA.

Reports say that a one year old boy also died after he was hit by a stray bullet as his mother was shopping in the market carrying the child on her back, and he died instantly.

Meanwhile, in a press conference held near the international airport on Saturday by African Union peacekeepers, the spokesman, Major Bariyge Bahuko elaborated on Fridays landmine aimed at their vehicle, confirming that five of their soldiers sustained minor injuries from the attack.

“The explosion that hit an AMISOM convoy routinely in the capital resulted five soldiers sustaining minor injuries,” he said, adding, “two other civilians who were passing on the nearby road sustained injuries and are now being treated in the AMISOM medical center.”

Mogadishu has seen more violence after the Ethiopian invasion in December 2006 to support the transitional federal troops drive the Islamists from Mogadishu and take over control of the city and the south and central regions.

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API

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