UN forces fight pitched battle with Somalis

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The Independent Online
Mogadishu - UN soldiers using tanks and helicopter gunships fought off heavily-armed Somali militiamen in Mogadishu. Somalis fired small arms and rifles mounted on 'technical' battle wagons at UN military convoys. UN soldiers fired back and armoured personnel carriers backed by four Cobra helicopter gunships were sent in, blowing up two 'technicals' and inflicting an unknown number of Somali casualties. The battle raged for more than an hour in the district of Medina, dominated by the Murusade clan which is allied with self-styled president Ali Mahdi Mohamed. In recent weeks, Medina has come under attack from militias of the Habre Gedir, loyal to Ali Mahdi's rival, Mohamed Farah Aideed. Reuter

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