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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shabaab and Islamic Courts Union Shootout in Bal'ad

Somalia’s Islamist guerrillas battle each other, two killed20 Oct 20, 2008 - 10:07:13 AM

BAL'AD, Somalia Oct 20 (Garowe Online) - Islamist rebels fighting against Somalia's interim government battled each other Sunday in the town of which is located 30km north of the national capital Mogadishu, Puntland-based Radio Garowe reported.

The violence erupted in the western outskirts of Bal'ad town where the Islamic Courts militia set up a security checkpoint earlier in the day.

Local residents told Radio Garowe that a band of guerrillas loyal to Islamist opposition group al Shabaab attacked the checkpoint, sparking a bloody battle that killed at least two fighters and wounded eight people including civilians.

The Islamic Courts fighters withdrew only to return during the evening, when a second round of fighting over control of the checkpoint erupted and al Shabaab guerrillas withdrew.

"Gunmen shot directly at a vehicle transporting al Shabaab last night," said a witness in Bal’ad who did not want his name in print, saying most businesses were closed due to the violence.

The situation was reportedly calm but tense Monday, as Islamic clerics and traditional elders sought to diffuse the potentially dangerous state of affairs.

The Rest @ Garowe

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