Eight Islamist fighters killed in fresh Mogadishu clashes

09:04, September 21, 2010      

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Somali government military commanders said on Monday that they killed eight Islamist rebel fighters in clashes in the Somali capital Mogadishu, local media reports said.

The fighting broke out after fighters from Hezbul Islam Islamist group attacked positions of Somali government forces in the south of the coastal city.

"Our forces killed eight of the misguided youths who attacked our defensive positions and the restive fled and we still remain in our position,"Abdelkadir Hussein Milheh, senior Somali military commander, told local Shabelle radio in Mogadishu.

Milheh did not say if the government side suffered any losses but spokesman for Hezbul Islam group told the local radio that the group's fighters "inflicted heavy losses" on the Somali government forces and denied that any of the group's fighters were killed in the fighting.

Armed Islamist opposition groups launch almost daily attacks on the forces of the fragile Somali government and the almost 6, 000 African Union (AU) peacekeeping troops backing it.

Meanwhile the leader of the Hezbul Islam movement, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, spoke on the local radio station in Mogadishu which his fighters took over on Sunday to officially announce that the Global Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) radio station will be under the control of the Islamist group.

GBC as well as HornAfrik radio stations were on Sunday separately taken over by Hezbul Islam and Al Shabaab Islamist groups respectively.

The GBC owners, who also spoke on the station for the first time after its takeover, said that they agreed to hand over the local FM station to the Islamist group and that the station will serve "the interests of Islam" in Somalia.

Somalia has remained chaotic for almost two decades since the collapse of Somali government in 1991.

Source: Xinhua


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