African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

An unknown number of people are feared dead as a new faction of Islamist fighters, known as the Somali Faction Islamists, which together with some fighters of the Islamic Courts Union ambushed a government ammunition convoy escorted by Somali soldiers on late Tuesday at Baladogle area, 100kms south of Mogadishu.

According to eyewitness accounts, the battle began as the government soldiers from Mogadishu heading to Baidoa were ambushed by the Islamists near Baladogle, and with both sides using heavy weapons, the battle lasted for more than 30 minutes.

“The soldiers were going to supply ammunition and fuel to other soldiers who were recently trained in Ethiopian, and as we received the reports, we planned how to stop them,” Farhan Abdi Eelmoge, the head of the new faction, told APA by telephone.

“Three of our Mujahideen died in the battle while we killed more than 12 soldiers and captured 22 trucks carrying ammunition and fuel, Farhan Abdi Eelmoge said, adding that both the Islamic Courts Union and his faction took part in the fighting.

This ongoing violence in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia continues despite the new truce agreement recently signed between the Somali government and the opposition alliance based in Asmara, a group which included both moderates and hardliners, and which was meant to end the Iraq-style insurgency and usher in a ceasefire in the beleaguered capital city.

Somalia had been plunged into anarchy after the overthrow of former President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, when warlords used their clan-based militias to remove Barre only to turn on each other for power, leading to constant inter-clan war which left thousands killed and millions displaced.



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