Aweys Osman Yusuf
Mogadishu 02, August.07 ( Sh.M.Network)- Nearly ten people have been killed and more than 25 have been wounded in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, in overnight barrage of mortar bombs exchanged by Ethiopian troops based in the capital and suspected Islamist-led insurgents.
Witnesses reported Thursday that more than 40 mortar rounds fired by Ethiopian troops based in Mogadishu’s biggest football stadium and former Somali Defense Ministry targeted the residential area of Odweyne in Hodan district, south of the capital, claiming the lives of at least ten civilians, including four women, and wounding more than 25.
One of the residents, who asked to remain anonymous because he was afraid of reprisal, told Shabelle that a group of insurgents attacked the Ethiopian bases from the residence, firing mortars.
"The Ethiopians in the Stadium and in former Somalia Defense Ministry responded with more than 50 artillery bombs. After the Ethiopians stopped bombing us, the neighbors came out trying to rush the wounded to Medina hospital, but we were stopped by government troops somewhere closer to the hospital, sparking the death of two of the wounded after hemorrhaging," he said, indicating that the soldiers later allowed them to proceed to the hospital.
Our reporter, Abdirahman Yusuf, in the area said the people who died in last night’s incident included three people from the same family same home. "There were also children that were among the dead," he said.
The insurgents also attacked the government troops positioned in Villa Baidoa, near the capital’s international airport. The head of the government police forces assigned to pacify the capital, Col. Hussein Dhumal, told Shabelle that unknown gunmen attacked the troops.
"They killed a poor woman who was selling tea and wounded nine soldiers. It was kind of hit and run attack. It was barbaric," he said.
He accused the Islamist rebels of targeting innocent civilians. "They always claim the lives innocent Somalis. They have killed a poor woman who was earning income from selling tea in the open to feed her own children," he said
On Tuesday, six people were killed and a dozen more were wounded in Mogadishu after a roadside bomb targeting a government battlewagon was remotely detonated.
Witnesses said the bomb exploded after the pick-up truck mounted with anti-tank gun, carrying a number of Somali troops passed the road where it was planted.
"Many people were moving along the road when it was remotely blown up by unknown gunmen. The troops opened fire indiscriminately, getting on their journey," said, Derie Ali, a witness.
More than 150 people, most of them civilians, are believed to have been killed in Mogadishu violence since government troops occupied the capital’s open-air market, Bakara, in early July.