Accessibility links

Violence Continues in Somalia Ahead of Reconciliation Conference


Reports from Somalia say at least one person is dead following a grenade attack in the latest violence ahead of a peace conference scheduled for Sunday in the capital, Mogadishu.

Witnesses at the scene say grenades were thrown at Ethiopian soldiers Saturday as they patrolled a neighborhood in the capital. The reports say the soldiers returned fire. The number of casualties is not clear.

Reports indicate the city is tense as more than 1,000 invited delegates, made up of Somali tribal elders and warlords, arrive in the city for the peace conference. Islamic insurgents have vowed to disrupt the meeting.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has sent wishes for a successful beginning to the conference and called on opposition groups to renounce the violence that has persisted in the capital.

Somalia's interim president, Abdullah Yusuf, vowed this week that no amount of violence will derail the reconciliation talks.

Somali government troops supported by Ethiopian troops and African Union peacekeepers have stepped up security measures in the city ahead of the peace conference.

Assailants fired several mortars aimed at targets that included the president's residence this week. People inside the palace said the shells did not hit any buildings in the compound.

Mogadishu has been plagued by violence since an alliance of interim government forces and Ethiopian troops pushed an Islamist movement from power in the capital late last year.

Somalia has been mired in anarchy since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG