17 dead in Somalia shootout

Monday, January 31, 2011

MOGADISHU - At least 17 people were killed and several others injured Monday in a shootout between two units of government security forces in the Somalian capital, Xinhua reported.

The firefight erupted after government troops killed a soldier in civilian clothes. The killing in the capital Mogadishu triggered retaliatory attacks from other unit, Omar Dahir, a police officer, said.

“Twelve people died and as many as 20 others got injured after gunfire hit a crowded place near a hospital,” the police officer said.

However, local media and hospital sources put the toll higher, saying at least 17 people lost their lives.

Witnesses spoke of shocking scenes as people were caught in the shootout. Body parts lay scattered in the street where the shooting happened, they reported.

“There was blood streaming all around. Limbs lay strewn all over the place and people were screaming for help as the shooting continued,” an eyewitness told Xinhua.

The incident occurred in the government-controlled part of Mogadishu, where government forces exercise high alert as they engage in constant battle with Islamist fighters on a daily basis.

Such clashes between units of government forces often take place in residential areas after army units mistake each other for insurgents or over differences.

Filed under: Terrorism

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