Heavy fighting rages in centre of Mogadishu
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Last Updated: Friday, January 29, 2010, 15:35
Mogadishu: Heavy fighting raged early Friday in the centre of Mogadishu between Islamist insurgents and soldiers of the African Union's peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM).

Artillery exchanges and automatic weapons fire broke out around 2:00 am (2300 GMT Thursday) and continued through the night. After dying down a little, the violence resumed in full intensity at dawn.

The fighting was concentrated around the strategic K4 junction halfway between the Somali capital's airport and the port, on the edge of an area controlled by the peacekeepers.

The AMISOM detachment there is made up of a few dozen Ugandan soldiers who regularly come under fire from insurgents.

"Kilometre Four" in southeastern Mogadishu is where the airport road meets several other key thoroughfares and is a major flashpoint in the war-ravaged coastal city.

The insurgents launched an attack on K4, an AMISOM source said. The Ugandan soldiers replied with mortar and tank fire.

At around 6:30 am, the fighting moved a few hundred metres (yards) further north along the avenue leading to Villa Somalia, the president's residence, around another AMISOM position dubbed Shakara, the source said.


First Published: Friday, January 29, 2010, 15:35

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