10 Killed as Somalia Forces Battle Insurgents

Government fires on market as Somalia teeters on collapse
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2008 9:19 AM CDT
Somalia's President Abdullahi Yusuf talks to reporters at his home in Nairobi, Kenya.   (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
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(Newser) – At least 10 people were killed and 35 seriously injured in Somalia’s capital yesterday as insurgents fired mortars at the presidential palace, where Somalia’s president and Ethiopia’s foreign minister were meeting. The government responded by firing artillery shells and mortar in the direction of the attack, a crowded Bakara market that has served as a rebel base, reports the New York Times.

The government suffers from low support, scarce resources, and mounting violence from an Islamist insurgency. Ethiopian troops have resided in the capital since December 2006, when they helped oust an Islamist administration. Soldiers had been removed from the Bakara market after repeatedly robbing merchants. The merchants, in return, had agreed to provide their own security and not let insurgents use the market as a base.