Somalia: 15 killed, 20 injured in day two of clashes

Mogadishu (Alshahid) -Clashes between Somali government troops and al-Shabab fighters have left 15 people dead and at least 20 civilians injured, Radio Garowe reports.

Al-Shabab and Hizbul-Islam factions, both insurgent groups with the aim of toppling the interim government backed by African Union troops, have launched a new offensive to take Mogadishu.

Fighting began on Saturday, stopped overnight, but resumed on Sunday morning on various fronts of the northern and southern districts of Abdiasis, Hodan, H/wadaag, and Bondhere.

During Sunday’s fighting, at least 10 people were killed, bringing a total of 25 deaths in two consecutive days of fighting.

“We collected over 15 wounded bodies from Mogadishu’s streets, mostly were civilians who caught by mortars on their houses,” said a Mogadishu medical official.

After exchanging artillery and gunfire for hours, both sides claimed victory but denied causing civilian deaths and injuries.

Al-Shabab has claimed that its fighters have killed several TFG soldiers.

However, Somali government officials have rejected the al-Shabaab claims, saying their troops killed five militants.

The two sides have been battling for the same districts for months without gaining much ground, and often exchanging control over a few districts.

The fighting rages days after new Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Farmajo’s Cabinet was approved by the TFG Parliament.

The TFG is Somalia’s 15th attempt to restore national order, but the weak TFG has been unable to confront the relentless firepower and propaganda of insurgents like Al Shabaab terror group.