CBC NEWS… At least 24 people are dead after Islamist insurgents battled government forces and African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu Friday.
The bloodshed comes a day after fighting killed at least 40 people in central Somalia as both sides tried to gain control of strategic towns.
Rebels launched a pre-dawn attack Friday on an African Union base, sparking the firefight. Residents hid in their homes as mortars slammed into the city.
Government troops and African Union peacekeepers control only a few blocks of Mogadishu, but that includes key government buildings as well as the port and airport. The insurgents control the most of rest of Somalia.
The country has been thrown into anarchy since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, then turned on each other. President Sheik Sharif Ahmed, elected in January, has been unable to unite the country’s feuding factions.
The al-Shabab insurgent group operates openly in the capital, seeking to overthrow the government and impose a strict form of Islam in Somalia.