MOGADISHU, Somalia (Garowe Online) – Hundreds of Somalis including women and children took to the streets in north Mogadishu, the capital, following deadly street battles that killed more than 50 people since Thursday.
The battles raged between insurgent groups and allied Somali-Ethiopian government forces. The latest upsurge in violence has led to another mass exodus out of Mogadishu, with aid groups estimating that more than 50,000 civilians fled in the past three days alone.
Protestors in Mogadishu’s Huriwa district walked in hordes and chanted anti-Ethiopia slogans on Sunday. Those same streets were the scene of deadly fighting on Thursday when the corpses of Ethiopian soldiers were dragged by angry mobs.
Local businesses were closed today as protestors walked up the main street with some throwing rocks at shops with open doors, witnesses reported.
Some of the protestors carried a black flag with Islamic insignia inscribed across it, suggesting a link with the Islamic Courts movement and its many supporters in Mogadishu.
Meanwhile, government troops and their Ethiopian military allies continued search operations across Mogadishu, shutting down the vital Bakara market, which has long been viewed as a hotbed for insurgent activity.
Government forces engaged suspected insurgents in south Mogadishu’s Black Sea area during the afternoon. There were no casualty figures from that battle by print time but the rival sides used tanks, artillery shells and rocket fire to inflict maximum destruction.
Ethiopia deployed its army into Somalia last December to remove Islamist rulers from Mogadishu and install the Addis Ababa-friendly transitional government of President Abdullahi Yusuf.
But Yusuf’s government has struggled to impose any kind of order to Mogadishu, nearly eleven months after the Ethiopian military intervention aimed at stabilizing Somalia began.
Source: Garowe Online