and local officials held talks on Monday to try and end four
days of sporadic gun battles and looting by militia loyal
to faction leader, Hussein Aideed, AP reported.
complaining of lack of pay, food and medical care have engaged
in shootouts around the former presidential residence, Villa
Somalia, in Mogadishu.
have been damaged over the last four days as the militia men
- still loyal to clan leader Hussein Mohamed Aideed - used
heavy machineguns in a looting protest.
windows, furniture and ammunition have been snatched. According
to the AP report from Mogadishu, it is not clear whether the
faction leader remains in his residence, or if there have
been any casualties.
"Villa Somalia" encompasses the compound of the presidential
residence, now used as an operational base and sleeping area
for hundreds of militia.
the former grandiose buildings were destroyed and looted when
Siad Barre was driven from Mogadishu in 1991; but Hussein
Aideed restored one of the villas at the rear of the compound
for his private use.
a former government building outside the compound for official
work. Many of the discontented militia are young gunmen, but
others are older former soldiers who supported his father,
General Mohamed Farah Aideed.
blamed deteriorating security on the growing number of armed
militiamen "roaming the streets".
saying it was linked to the reported progress of peace talks
in Djibouti. Faction leaders "could find their power eroded",
claimed the report from Mogadishu.
Aideed has refused to participate in the talks, and claims,
along with some other faction leaders, that the Djibouti process
will provoke a new round of war.