(Raw video)MOGADISHU : Clashes between Islamist insurgents and Somali troops killed at least 20 people on Saturday including a senior police officer and a foreign militant in the heaviest fighting for a week, residents said.
President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's government is struggling to take control over the Horn of Africa nation and the capital Mogadishu from hardline opposition fighters bent on overthrowing his western-backed government.
Government soldiers battled their way into some rebel strongholds in north Mogadishu where the two sides exchanged mortar and machinegun fire, residents said.
"The streets are scary and smell of blood today," ambulance driver Ali Musa told Reuters.
A senior police officer said that the director of Mogadishu's security department was killed in clashes early on Saturday.
The government showed the body of what it said was an Afghani national fighting with Hizbul Islam, an umbrella opposition group led by hardline Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.
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MOGADISHU, July 11 (insidesomalia.org) - Clashes between Islamist insurgents and Somali troops killed at ..."He was an Afghani senior commander with the anti-peace men fighting the government. He has his country's passport," military spokesman Farhan Arsanyo told Reuters.
"We captured others from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, and we shall display them soon."
Al Shabaab and allied fighters control swathes of southern and central Somalia and have boxed in government troops and the 4,300-strong African Union force into a few blocks of Mogadishu.
The United Nations and the AU say hundreds of foreigners are fighting alongside al Shabaab in Somalia, which has been without a strong central government since 1991.
Western security agencies have long feared that Somalia with its large coastline and porous borders could become a haven for foreign militants looking to attack the region and beyond.
In: Afghanistan, News
Tags: Clashes Between Somali Gov. & Insurgents: 20 Killed, Including Foreign Militant In Mogadishu
Location: Mogadishu, Banaadir, Somalia (load item map)
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