28/08/07 (B410) BBC : Cinq morts en Somalie cette nuit au cours d’un accrochage entre les forces de sécurité et des insurgés pro-islamistes. Gun battles rock Somali capital (En Anglais – Info lectrice)

Five people have been killed in overnight clashes between security forces and pro-Islamist insurgents in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The BBC’s Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says two civilians were killed and six wounded during a gun battle in the northeast of the capital.

The police said three insurgents were killed and two held after an attack on a police station in southern Mogadishu.

Ongoing peace talks have failed to quell continuing violence in the city.

A series of explosions and gun battles have rocked Mogadishu in the last three days, after Islamist militias vowed to step up their insurgency against Ethiopian troops and the transitional government.

The leader of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) supreme council Sheikh Hassan Dahir Away said his men were ready to continue fighting "a battle for independence", during an interview with Mogadishu-based Radio Horn Afrik.

Our correspondent says insurgents launched attacks on government bases in the northeast neighbourhood of Huriwaa, which resulted in an hour-long gun battle as government forces fought back using heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Following the fierce fighting, hundreds of civilians have begun fleeing from Huriwaa, which our correspondent says is an Islamist stronghold.

"We have been here for a long time and thought things would calm down once, but now we have decided to leave. You know the Islamists vowed last week to redouble their attacks and we are the victims," resident Mrs Asho Abdinor told the BBC.

On Sunday, a roadside bomb killed two children and an elderly man and wounded five people.

Peace fears

The latest fighting has sparked fears of renewed fighting in the country, despite ongoing national reconciliation talks which began on 15 July.

Delegates attending the talks have also been the target of insurgent attacks, and so far one delegate has been killed and three others injured in separate incidents.

The chairman of the talks organising committee, Ali Mahdi Mohammed, says the escalating violence will not derail the talks, which have been boycotted by Islamists and the dominant Hawiye clan.

The Islamists and other insurgents strongly oppose the presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia who are backing the country’s interim government.

Last December, the allies ousted the UIC, an Islamist group that had taken control of much of southern Somalia.