At least 8 civilians and ten Ugandan soldiers have been killed in clashes between al-Shabab fighters and government soldiers backed by African Union forces in Somalia.
Al-Shabab fighters carried out a large attack on the Presidential Palace in the capital Mogadishu on Friday, a Press TV correspondent reported.
They have also taken control of more government bases in War-dhiigley District in the capital. Large numbers of people have fled the districts where fighting is going on.
This is while Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed announced a new offensive on Wednesday and said that 17,000 African Union and Somali soldiers will continue to fight until al-Shabab’s hold on Mogadishu is shattered.
Somalia has been without an effective central government since former dictator Siad Barre was overthrown by warlords in 1991.
Somali government controls only a small part of Mogadishu. Lack of coordination among its forces, who are barely trained and seldom get paid, has for long barred the government’s promise of a full-scale war against opposition fighters.
Fighting, famine and disease have led to the death of nearly one million people in the African country and crushed all government efforts at restoring security.
There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia. More than 300,000 of them are sheltered in Mogadishu alone.
Most of the IDPs live in squalid conditions at makeshift sites in southern and central Somalia, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.