At least 27 people including civilians have been killed in fresh clashes across Somalia as violence dominates the east African nation.
In Lower Shabelle region, an attack by the Somali military soldiers against a police checkpoint killed at least 16 from both sides, while seriously injuring more than nine soldiers.
Top police commander Nuuirye Ali Faraj told Press TV on Sunday that the military attacked the checkpoint on suspicion of police links with Al-Shabbab and Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) forces.
Meanwhile in south Mogadishu’s Wardhiigley district, heavy clashes between armed rebels and government troops — who had taken some civilians as hostage while looting them — left more than 10 soldiers dead, and 16 others injured.
The hostages were freed; however, 32 soldiers disguised as civilians were captured by the rebels, witnesses say.
In another incident on Sunday, a civilian dressed in Islamic clothes was gunned down by Somali government troops in Sarkusta checkpoint on suspicion of being a terrorist. Four others were also arrested and taken into an Ethiopian base nearby.
Also in the central Somali region of Hiiran, two landmine explosions seriously injured dozens of civilians.
Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991. Years of fierce clashes and an inability to deal with famine and disease have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands people in the Horn of African nation.