MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Fierce gun battle erupted in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu after heavily armed government troops attacked the houses of two opposition leaders, in what critics of the country’s outgoing president say is an attempt to subjugate them in arm-twisting.
Many have fled their homes after fighting broke out in KM4 neighborhood in the south of the city, while others are still trapped as clashes between troops supporting president Farmajo and those opposed to his term extension decision still continue.
Clashes have spread to several neighborhoods along the Makka Al-Mukarama road, which is heavily used by government officials and security forces.
There have been reports that pro-opposition forces have taken over control of Wabari police station and Dabka junction after brief gunfight. A video circulated on social media shows people running in panic to escape gunfire exchange at the intersection, which is close to the presidential palace.
Residential areas have been shelled and opposition forces fired several mortar rounds into president Farmajo’s residence.
Somali security minister Hassan Hundubey said an operation aimed to disperse “organized armed groups”, referring to forces loyal to the opposition and denied that the residence of former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in the city’s north had been attacked by government troops.
Wadajir opposition party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur said his house had come under attack by pro-government forces, adding that president Farmajo will be held accountable for the consequences of the assault.
Former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a tweet that troops under the command of president Farmajo launched a raid on his residence and warned against politicizing security.
“It was unfortunate that forces under the command of ex-president [Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo] attacked my residence,” Former president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said.
“We had earlier warned and we are repeating now the risk of politicizing security. Responsibility for the consequences of this move will be taken by Farmajo.”
Casualties inflicted by the clashes have not been immediately known.
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