Somalia: Gun Battles Rage, Explosions Heard across Mogadishu as Govt Forces Seal off Streets

Somali military seal off a road near the presidential palace in Mogadishu on Friday. Photograph: Said Yusuf Warsame/EPA

Somalilandsun: Terrified civilians have been sheltering in place as government troops engaged opposition forces in prolonged gun battles across the Somali capital Mogadishu. There have been no reports of casualties as the fighting is ongoing.

Intermittent heavy machine-gun fire and a series of explosions were heard throughout the night ahead of a formal, but illegal, anti-government demonstration on Friday.

“Many forces heavily attacked us, I am now on my chest in an alley. This is a massacre,” protester Farah Omar said.

Eyewitness footage from Mogadishu purports to show the severity of the fighting overnight, with protesters taking to the streets Friday morning regardless of the apparent danger and a government ban on demonstrations. Read an assortment of this report HERE