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ICC NOTE: As African nations decide if they will send troops to Somalia . It is believed that some 3,000 Islamist fighters remain in Mogadishu .

Five killed in Mogadishu attacks

BBC News

January 26 2007

Unknown gunmen have killed five people in a series of attacks in the Somali capital, Mogadishu , witnesses say.

A BBC correspondent saw three bodies with gunshot wounds lying in waste ground and reliable witnesses have seen two more bodies elsewhere in the city.

Four people were also injured in mortar attacks. Insecurity has increased since the ousting of Islamists last month.

Meanwhile, South Africa says it does not have the troops to contribute to an African Union peacekeeping force.

Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said it might try to support the mission in other ways, such as technical support.

The AU force would replace Ethiopian troops, who have started to withdraw after helping the interim government drive out the Union of Islamic Courts from Mogadishu and most of southern Somalia .


Nine battalions proposed – up to 9,000 troops:

Uganda : 1,500 troops offered, subject to parliamentary approval

Malawi : Up to 1,000 troops offered

Nigeria : 1,000 troops offered

Ghana : Reportedly offered troops

Tanzania : Considering

Rwanda : Considering

South Africa : Not sending troops

Some UIC leaders have said they would stage a guerrilla war and it is believed that some 3,000 Islamist fighters remain in Mogadishu .

There have been several attacks on Ethiopian and government troops but those killed overnight were civilians.

Four were killed in at least two attacks in south Mogadishu , the other body was found in the north of the city.

Police Commissioner Ali Mohamed Hassan Loyan said the attackers were “hell-bent on undermining the security of the country. The police will track them down.”

But government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that there were not enough police officers to cover Mogadishu .

This week, an Ethiopian soldier was killed in the southern city of Kismayo , while mortars were fired at Mogadishu ‘s main airport.

After 15 years of lawlessness in Somalia , the UIC had restored some security to the capital after taking control of the city last June.

But they were accused of sheltering al-Qaeda militants responsible for the 1998 attacks on US embassies in East Africa .

They denied the charges.