04/08/08 (B459) AFP / Neuf civils somaliens tués dans un accrochage à Mogadiscio et 6 autres, dont un enfant à Huriwa. Les combattans utilisent des armes lourdes et de l’artillerie / Nine civilians killed in Mogadishu clashes: witnesses (En Anglais)

At least nine civilians were killed Monday after rebels attacked Ethiopian troops in the Somali capital, witnesses said.

Insurgents using machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades attacked an Ethiopian military camp in northern Mogadishu’s Huriwa neighbourhood. The Ethiopians responded with heavy artillery fire.

“There were about three artillery shells that struck houses in our neighbourhood and one of them destroyed part of my house,” Nadifo Hussein, a resident of northern Mogadishu’s Waharade neighbourhood, told AFP.

“Three civilians including two children died and six others were wounded. None of us could put his head up this afternoon because of the heavy shelling.”

Six other civilians were killed in Huriwa.

“Three men died in one place after an artillery shell smashed a small teashop they were sitting in,” said Ahmed Moalim Hussein, an elder in Huriwa. “Two others, including a woman, were killed in crossfire.”

A child also died in the same area, according to several witnesses.

Ethiopia sent forces into Somalia in late 2006 to help the Somali government dislodge an Islamist movement that had taken control of much of the country’s central and southern regions.

Since then Islamist fighters have waged a deadly insurgency against the Ethiopian and government forces, mainly in the capital Mogadishu, killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousand others.