Thu Jan 24, 2019 | 08:45
Dozens killed in fierce Somalia fighting
Mon, 28 Feb 2011 05:10:40 GMT
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A man carries his younger brother to Medina Hospital, after he was wounded by shrapnel from a mortar shell during clashes in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. (File photo)
At least 24 people have been killed and 15 injured in violent clashes between Somali government troops and al-Shabab fighters south of the capital Mogadishu, witnesses say.

The victims, mostly civilians, were caught in the crossfire in the ongoing conflict between the warring sides, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Mortar shells reportedly fired from government forces positions missed their targets and landed at houses in Bula Hawo, a strategic town across neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia in Southern Somalia.

Witnesses say scores of civilians have been caught in the fierce fighting in Somalia over the past three days.

Al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohammud Raghe has blamed the government forces and Ethiopians troops for launching the attacks on the fighters' bases and shelling civilian areas.

Al-Shabab has also warned Kenya of retaliation over the country's purported participation in the strikes on the group.

"Kenya has allowed our arch rivals, the Ethiopian troops, to attack us from the town of Mandera. They gave them positions to massacre our people in the border town of Bula Hawo. We will not stand by and watch as the atrocities continue, we will retaliate," Raghe said.

The spokesperson also called on Somalis living around Kenyan territories to prevent their lands from becoming a launch-pad for attacks by the 'enemy.'

The government in Mogadishu has increased offensives against al-Shabab in several towns across central and southern Somalia, including the capital city.

The near-daily violence in Somalia's capital last year wounded the highest number of people in a decade, including some 2,300 women and children, an international Red Cross spokesperson said later in January.

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