Latest Mogadishu violence kills 21 people (Somalia)
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Sporadic shelling and gunfire went on through the night in Mogadishu and residents on Friday said latest fighting and a suicide attack at an Ethiopian base had killed at least 21 people and wounded another 101.
Residents say the recent fighting, which had rockets slamming into a crowded market on Thursday, was as bad as a ferocious four-day war that killed 1,000 people at the end of March and displaced about a fifth of the city's population.
"We have admitted 71 and 41 of them are seriously injured and the other 30 had minor injuries," a doctor at the Madina Hospital told Reuters.
The fighting is between insurgents made up of Islamists and the city's dominant clan's militia on one side and Ethiopian troops allied to the interim government of President Abdullahi Yusuf on the other.
A suicide attacker drove a 4X4 truck through the gates of the Ethiopian base in Mogadishu on Thursday, killing mostly civilians.
In a separate incident, an Ethiopian truck hit a landmine in south Mogadishu but details of casualties and fatalities were not easily available.
The United Nations on Thursday said a catastrophe was looming in the Horn of Africa country with many of the 200,000 people who have fled the violence going without clean water.
Over 400 have died from an epidemic of acute watery diarrhea that is sweeping across the country.
Another 12,429 cases have been detected since the start of the year and the U.N. expects the situation to worsen with the onset of the rainy season.
The interim government, established in Kenya in 2004, is the 14th attempt to set up central rule in Somalia since the Horn of Africa nation slid into warlord-fuelled anarchy with the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
The government is pursuing a reconciliation conference in Mogadishu. But its first plan to start a meeting this week failed due to insecurity and infighting.
Von: 20.04.2007 www.reuters.com