06/10/08 (B468) 15 civils tués dans de nouveaux combats à Mogadiscio // 15 civilians killed in Mogadishu clashes (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Fresh clashes between insurgents and Somali soldiers killed 15 civilians.

Clashes between Ethiopian soldiers and insurgents have left 15 civilians dead and 42 others injured in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The fighting broke out in the Medina district south-west of Mogadishu, as insurgents clashed with Ethiopian soldiers near the base of the Burundian peacekeeping contingent in the capital.

At least 11 Ethiopian soldiers were also killed in the violence and another 12 injured, a Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported.

Ethiopian soldiers are now attacking civilians inside the Medina district, killing 15 people and wounding more than 42 others.

Heavy artillery fire destroyed tens of homes in shelters where thousands of Somalis took refuge, and the bodies of woman and children still lay in the streets, the report said.

Survivors are now fleeing the area and the wounded have been rushed to hospital but doctors report their injuries to be fatal.

A few hours earlier hundreds of Somali soldiers marched through the district, clashing with al-Shabaab fighters, the military wing of the Union of Islamic Courts. The fighters had staged 16 mortar attacks on the Mogadishu International Airport on Sunday morning.

The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) and al-Shabaab fighters consider US-backed Ethiopian troops in Somalia to be an occupying force. They say, they will continue their fight until a full withdrawal of the enemies from Somalia.

In late 2006, Washington supported Ethiopia in a military offensive that ousted the UIC from Somalia’s capital.

According to the US-based Human Rights Watch, Kenya covertly rounded up scores of people fleeing violence in the country and sent them to Somalia and then Ethiopia. The 2007 rendition program in the Horn of Africa, involved Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and the United States.

From February to May 2007, Ethiopian security officers transported detainees – including several pregnant women – to a villa where US officials interrogated them about suspected terrorist links, the report states.