Saturday, September 12, 2009

Shelling in Somalia kills 15, mostly ex-soldiers

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Mortars slammed into Somalia's capital, killing three civilians and at least 12 men at a home for disabled veterans, an official said Saturday. Nearly a dozen other former soldiers were wounded in the attack.Islamic insurgents fired mortars Friday night toward Mogadishu's port but the explosives landed in residential areas, including a residence for former army officers paralyzed or missing limbs from the country's 1977 war with Ethiopia, according to government spokesman Shiek Abdirisaq Qeylow.The spokesman gave the death and injured toll.Mohamed Abdi, 50, had moved to the army home after a bullet paralyzed him in 1977."I was sitting in my wheelchair about 10 meters (30 feet) away from my friends when a mortar exploded and smoke and dust covered us all," he told The Associated Press. "I saw my friends on the ground, with blood scattered everywhere like slaughtered goats."Somalia has been ravaged by violence and anarchy since Hawiye warlords overthrew Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other. A moderate Islamist was elected president in January in hopes that he could unite the country's feuding factions, but the violence has continued unabated..more..