Somali Insurgents Condemn AU for Shelling Civilians

Retaliation Threatened Against Uganda, Burundi

by Jason Ditz, October 23, 2009

Insurgent groups in Somalia are scoring a major PR victory today, condemning the African Union (AU) “peacekeepers” for firing dozens of rockets into the crowded Bakara market today, killing several civilians.

Uganda has 2,700 troops in Somalia

The incident came yesterday, when insurgents fired mortars at the airplane of Somali President Ahmed. The AU responded to the attack by firing at the market, Mogadishu’s largest, which is in militant controlled territory.

Though the chain of events was widely confirmed yesterday, the African Union is now denying that it fired any rockets at all, and insisted that the militants shelled their own market for some inscrutible reason. The insurgents confirmed attacking the plane, but said the mortars were fired from outside the city, far from civilian occupied areas.

Al-Shabaab, one of the nation’s largest militant groups, is threatening to launch retaliatory attacks inside Uganda and Burundi, the nations who have committed materially all of the troops to the AU force in Somalia.

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