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Mogadishu under siege “Its a war”

Published: 24 August 2010

Kn: Ambulances with blazing sirens run into the dusty streets of Mogadishu crisscrossing  the width and the length of the capital in a desperate attempt to transport massive bodies of people as casualties rise to sky rocketing after all-out war broke out between insurgents and government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping forces.

In the most disastrous incident two men entered Muna Hotel near the presidential palace and blew up themselves killing 15 MPs, 2 security guards, police officers, hotel workers, a women and 11 years old shoe shiner outside the hotel.

This is a daring broad day light attack under the watchful gaze of presidential palace’s security establishment including AMISOM; its a clear indication of how security looks like in the few blocks controlled by the government.

Deployment of extra African union troops continued overnight as forces loyal to Alshabab are streaming from all over the country’s southern provinces to the capital.

In Kismayo, southern port town of Somalia, eyewitnesses told KismaayoNews that there was extensive public appeal through Al Andulus Radio station run by Alshabab, Islamic authorities and broadcaster asked the public to volunteer for final Jihad, centers are registering the willing volunteers.

In the capital the death toll runs beyond the 70 mark, figure that is extraordinary for even the violence characterized capital within 24 hours, emergency vehicles are overwhelmed and could no longer admit everybody to the hospitals which are also over stretched. There are more than 150 people with injuries recorded in Madina Hospital alone.  

In the Baraka Market, the biggest in the country, is almost deserted according to our correspondents in the town. Mortars and tank shelling from both sides keep raining on residential areas; one of our reporters saw hundreds of civilians fleeing from the town towards Afgoi town 30km outside the capital.

 According to anonymous sources, cabinet and government leadership is in crises meeting together with AMISOM security officials, unconfirmed reports claim that ex army colonel and prominent warlord Ahmed Omar Jes is set to be appointed to command all government forces, especially the military including newly trained soldiers.

The experienced army man is already serving in the high profile security commutee and is said to be the man behind drafting the TFG near future military plans to overtake the capital and other provinces, one source told KismaayoNews that his pending appointment is aimed for appealing to the controversial militia trained in Kenya from Jubbaland so that they could be diverted to Mogadishu rather than their original target which was to attack Jubba provinces. They are nearly 2,000 well trained army.

Col. Ahmed Omar was the leader of SPM (Somali Partiotic Movement), a rebel organization which was among the rebels who overthrow Siyad Barre regime in 1991, his later years he was stationed in Kismayo but he lost control after fallout within SPM, in recent years his health was deteriorating as he became increasingly isolated from his original support base in Jubbaland. He is  a member of parliament.

 On the other side of the boder, Ethiopian troops are on high alert incase the war spills over into it’s territory, or to move in incase AMISOM runs into great danger according to recent comments from PM Males Zanawi who indicated that his troops with move in to Somalia  to evacuate African Troops.

In the Ethiopian Capital, the headquarter of African Union and other capitals of neighboring country there is diplomatic rush, diplomats are uncertain what is going on in Mogadishu, some fear that they may face the prospect of huge disaster whereby insurgents overrun the capital , most worryingly is that the lack of exit strategy and even plan B.

In the latest reports from the capital, some of government leaders are evacuated to unknown location for safety grounds after today’s killing of MPs which reduced the 555 parliamentarian to 15 MP short. Yesterday the government reopened casualty department of Martini Hospital. The military veteran’s hospital was build 1930’s and out of use for 30 years now, TFG intends to admit it’s injured officials to the hospital amid growing inconveniency in Madina Hospital and AMISOM health facility situated in Halane Military school, the base of AMISOM.

Alshabab vowed not to stop the war until they drive “Invaders” out of the country, a promise highly likely to be fulfilled until otherwise defeated.

TFG president Sharif Sheik Ahmed said “The door for negotiation with AlShabab in now officially closed”, government maintained to be willing to talk to the insurgents.


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