Ten people, including soldiers, died and several others sustained injuries on Tuesday as a fierce gun battle between Somali National Army (SNA) and regional forces broke out in Barawe, southern Somalia, local authorities said.
Mohamed Ibrahim Barre, Governor of Lower Shabelle region, said the fighting started after paramilitary forces killed SNA soldiers near the headquarters of South West State in Barawe town on Monday afternoon.
“We have achieved a cease-fire between the warring parties at the moment.
“And we are investigating the cause of the fighting,’ Barre told journalists in Barawe.
He called on the disciplined forces to eschew violence.
An eyewitness, who declined to be named, told Xinhua by phone that the situation was still tense.
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The witness admitted hearing sporadic gunshots in the morning while residents started fleeing their homes to neighbouring villages.
The two sides exchanged heavy gunfire that was still going on until midnight.
The gunfire created panic among the residents while peace efforts by elders also failed, he added.
The port town of Barawe is about 200 km south of Mogadishu and it is the administrative capital of South West State in Somalia.
But the town faces security challenges from al-Shabaab militants despite the heavy presence of peacekeeping troops. (Xinhua)
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