MOGADISHU, Somalia Mar 13 (Garowe Online) -
At least one insurgent was killed Thursday in Somalia's capital Mogadishu after African Union peacekeepers repulsed an attack, Radio Garowe reports.
Eight people, mostly civilians, were wounded in the attack on Burundian soldiers, who are part of a 4,000-strong AU peacekeeping force deployed in Mogadishu, known as AMISOM.
A Burundian military officer confirmed the attack, saying that the AMISOM peacekeepers defended themselves.
“There were no casualties on our side,” said Col. Ciza Justace, an AMISOM officer.
An unidentified fighter who spoke for Al Shabaab insurgents admitted on a Mogadishu radio station that they suffered casualties, including one death and a number of wounded fighters.
Witnesses in Mogadishu’s Medina district said mortar shells landed in the area, followed by a heavy artillery response from the AMISOM peacekeepers.
The AMISOM force, which deployed in Mogadishu in March 2007, recently received a mandate extension to continue serving until June, when the United Nations is expected to take over the peacekeeping mission.
The deployment of UN peacekeepers in Somalia has faced stiff resistance from many corners of the world, as no country has stepped up to take a leading role in such a force.
UN peacekeepers failed to restore order in Somalia in the 1990s, when Somali warlords foiled a U.S.-led UN peacekeeping mission.
Source: Garowe Online