12 Somalis killed in renewed fighting in Baidoa

  Mogadishu- Somalia (PANA) -- Twelve Somalis were reported killed and more than 30 injured during heavy clashes between rival militias in Baidoa, capital of the self-proclaimed regional autonomy of south-west Somalia on Sunday.
   Eyewitnesses told PANA in Mogadishu that the fighting was between militias loyal to the leader of Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA), Colonel Hassan Mohammed Nur (Shatigadud) and those loyal to the two vice chairs of RRA -- Sheikh Adam Madobe and Mohammed Ibrahim Habdsade -- who seized the town two weeks ago.
   The eyewitnesses said the fighting started at Burhakaba town, 60 kilometres south of Baidoa following an assault launched by Shatigadud's militia.
   They overran the town and headed for Baidoa, which they lost to the dissident RRA militias two weeks ago.
Colonel Abdullahi Yarisow, the commander of Shatigadud's militia, told PANA that his fighters were fully in control of the regions of Bay and Bakol.
He claimed that they killed 18 rival militias, while two were injured on his side.
   Baidoa was reported to be calm Monday morning in spite of the tense situation and the fear that the clashes could resume anytime.
   Madobe and Habsade are reported to have escaped to an unknown village west of Baidoa with their militias, according to the eyewitnesses.
   The renewed clashes occurred as many Somali warlords, including Shatigadud, are engaged in peace and reconciliation talks being brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eldoret, Kenya.
   Madobe and Habsade refused to attend the conference, claiming that since they controlled Baidoa, they were entitled to be the sole representatives of the town at the talks.
   It is not known if they will change their minds and attend the talks now that they have lost the town.

21 october 2002 10:15:00

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