AU troops attacked in Somalia

July 20, 2009 12:00 am

, MOGADISHU, July 20 – Islamist rebels attacked African Union troops in Somalia overnight, sparking a brief firefight in which two civilians were killed and seven wounded, officials and witnesses said Monday.

The Shebab ambushed the Ugandan contingent of the AU peacekeeping mission in southern Mogadishu.

"Two civilians died in a neighbourhood close to the scene of the clashes after they were caught in the crossfire," in a gun battle that lasted about 20 minutes, said Mohamed Ahmed, a police officer.

The peacekeepers’ spokesman Bahuko Barigye played down the incident.

"We don’t call it fighting. It was just normal act of the troublesome ones who go and fire when they have the opportunity," he said.

Since deploying in the war-ravaged Mogadishu in 2007, the forces have come under repeated attacks from the insurgents fighting the government, who also want to drive out the peacekeepers.


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