[Marxism] Somali warlords clash with Islamists in Somali capital Mogadishu

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Mar 25 08:03:03 MST 2006

Somalia clashes leave 60 dead 
Thursday 23 March 2006 8:04 AM GMT 

Somalia has been wracked by chronic unrest since 1991  

Two days of fierce clashes between rival militias in the northern part
of the Somali capital have killed at least 60 people.

Medical workers said at least 20 people were killed in fighting on
Thursday, while the toll from Wednesday rose to 40 after families took
their wounded to hospitals after clashes subsided at night.


They cited figures gathered from hospitals in Mogadishu by the city's
doctors' association. 


Earlier, Wednesday's toll had been estimated at 20. Among the dead were
civilians caught in the crossfire.


Residents said that sporadic gunshots that began early on Thursday
escalated into heavier fighting later in the day, with the sound of
exploding mortars and gunfire ringing in north-eastern Mogadishu. 

Witnesses and medical sources said the clashes were sparked on Wednesday
when armed men allied to Bashir Raghe Shiral, a member of the Alliance
for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) and rival
fighters who back Abukar Omar Adan of the Islamic courts clashed over
land ownership.

Both sides used rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft guns, machine
guns, assault rifles and hand grenades. Dozens of people fled their

The violence was the result of a unresolved dispute over ownership of a
piece of land near Aisaley airport, some 30km north of Mogadishu,
according to an ARPCT member.


The ARPCT, a coalition of warlords which was formed last month, is aimed
at curbing the influence of Islamic extremism in Somalia, while the
Islamic militia say they want to maintain law and order.

Witnesses said that there was sporadic gunfire on Thursday although the
intensity was less. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

At least 33 people were killed, hundreds wounded and thousands displaced
when similar groups clashed in southern Mogadishu last month.

Somalia has been wracked by chronic unrest with warlords and rival
militias fighting for control of unruly fiefdoms since the 1991
overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

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