Islamist insurgents attacked Burundian African Union peacekeepers in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday evening, triggering clashes on their army base, witnesses said.
The insurgents fired artillery into Mogadishu’s southern former nation university where Burundian troops from the AU peacekeeping force are based, drawing retaliatory fire, residents said.
« We felt huge shock when an RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] hit near our houses, » said one resident Hassan Mumin Several other residents said stray gunfire hit in several populated areas as the residents were sleeping.
The AU force in Somalia has been in Mogadishu since March 2007 and currently numbers about 3 000 troops, from Uganda and Burundi.
Saturday evenings violence days after two AU peacekeepers in Mogadishu have warned a suicide attacks might happen in Mogadishu
Alshabab group has claimed the responsibility of the attack.
The Islamists have since fired several mortar shells at the airport, triggering retaliatory fire that has caused dozens of civilian deaths.
Aid groups have scaled down operations in Somalia because of growing insecurity largely Southern Somalia as an aid worker has been killed in Jamame town in lower Shabelle region on Saturday night.
Somalia has been without an effective government since the 1991 ouster of Mohamed Siad Barre touched off bloodletting that has defied numerous bids to restore stability.