African Union forces in Somalia say they have reached a non-aggression pact with leaders of a powerful clan, as fierce fighting continues in the capital, Mogadishu.
A spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping mission (Captain Paddy Ankunda) told VOA Saturday the peacekeeping force in Mogadishu has reached agreement with the elders of the Hawiye Clan.
He says that while fighting continues between Islamic insurgents and government forces backed by Ethiopian troops, the AU has not been attacked and the areas under control of the AU forces have not been attacked.
Meanwhile, heavy weapons and artillery fire rocked other parts of the Somali capital today.
Scores of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and wounded since the allied forces began a ground and air offensive against insurgents in northern Mogadishu. Several Ethiopian soldiers have died, including two killed when their helicopter was shot down Friday.
Thursday's offensive shattered a ceasefire reached last week between Ethiopian forces and Mogadishu's powerful Hawiye clan. Ethiopia's Information Ministry said its troops have killed 200 insurgents since the offensive began. The claim could not be independently verified.
The International Committee of the Red Cross described the fighting as the worst in the capital in 15 years.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters.