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Heavy fighting rages in centre of Mogadishu

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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