Yesterday, insurgents fired mortars at the self-proclaimed Somali government’s Presidential Palace, one of the few buildings it actually controls in the capital city of Mogadishu. Government forces responded, according to witnesses, with indiscriminate shelling of neighborhoods in both Northern and Southern Mogadishu.
The shelling, which continued overnight, left at least 10 civilians killed and 25 wounded. There was no report of any insurgent deaths, and since the government was firing blind into residential neighborhoods any combatant deaths would have been sheer happenstance.
Civilians have borne the brunt of the ongoing fighting in Somalia, and government allied forces have repeatedly been willing to shell clearly civilian targets so long as they lie outside of the government’s decidedly limited sphere of influence.
Somali parliamentary speaker Madobe declined to comment on the civilian deaths in the latest shelling, instead pointing to a several week old story of an unknown militant group stoning a girl for adultery in Kismayo as proof that the insurgency was the real enemy of human rights.
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