MOGADISHU, Somalia Sep 27 (Garowe Online) -
The Somali capital's notorious Bakara open-air market was the scene of violent attacks Thursday as suspected insurgents attacked police on patrol, witnesses said.
Two civilians, both men in their twenties, were killed in an explosion and subsequent exchange of gunfire between insurgents and Mogadishu police.
Shoppers were forced to scatter in the chaos. The insurgents at first ambushed a police unit on tax collection duty, with the police receiving armed reinforcements to repel the attackers.
Another unidentified male was shot and killed on a road leading into Bakara market.
A fierce gun battle erupted this afternoon in Yaaqshiid distrct. Residents said the area was the scene of a heavy battle two nights ago.
Casualty reports could not be immediately verified.
In Huriwa district, security forces enforced an evening curfew and forced businesses to shut down operations and ordered residents to go home. Residents said Huriwa neighborhoods are teeming with the most number of troops in recent memory.
The district has been a hotbed for insurgent attacks in recent months.
Daily attacks are common in Mogadishu where an insurgency led by Islamist rebels aims to destabilize the Ethiopian-backed interim government's grip on power.
Experts say the insurgents are increasing their guerilla attacks as a signal to African Union member states not to send their peacekeepers to Mogadishu.
An AU military delegation from Uganda arrived today in the Somali capital. Uganda's army chief, Gen. Katumba Wamala, told reporters that Uganda would still send military trainers to assist Somalia's security forces. [
The delegation, which includes an assessment team, held meetings with senior AU ground commanders at their headquarters inside Adan Adde International Airport.
The AU has struggled to find sufficient peacekeepers to replace Ethiopian troops in Somalia. The continental body originally approved an 8,000-strong AU peacekeeping mission to operate in Somalia but only a 1,600-man Ugandan force has deployed in Mogadishu so far.
Source: Garowe Online