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Major clash in Mogadishu

 

Heavy fighting has broken out in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, between forces of the transitional government and fighters loyal to a warlord. A BBC correspondent in Mogadishu said at least nine people have been killed and 30 others injured.

The clashes are the first major confrontation between the militia factions which control much of the capital and the transitional government set up by a number of Somali groups last year in an attempt to reunify the country.

Both sides were using machine guns and mortars in the Mogadishu port area. It is not known what sparked the fighting.

Hussein Mohamed Aidid, whose gunmen were involved in the fighting, is a key member of a council, set up by several powerful warlords that, backed by Ethiopia are seeking to replace the government.

They say they will form their own government within six months, to rival the country's transitional administration.

Weapons

The fighting comes on the same day that another warlord in Mogadishu received a convoy of heavy-duty lorries transporting weapons and ammunition.

The convoy, consisting of 12 big trucks, was escorted by about 10 battle wagons and more than 100 heavily-armed militiamen.

It arrived at the headquarters of warlord Muse Sudi Yalahow who also strongly opposes the new transitional government.

The government accuses Ethiopia of supplying the weapons in an attempt to destabilise Somalia and has called on the international community to condemn Addis Ababa.


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