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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Somalia' UIC vows war against AU forces

Wed, 04 Feb 2009 02:50:33 GMT | PressTV

Somalia's Union of Islamic Courts has vowed to wage war against AU peacekeepers over the killing of civilians in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

The leader of the UIC's military wing, al-Shabaab, on Tuesday urged his fighters to attack the peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM) for 'deliberately' killing 40 civilians on Saturday, the Press TV correspondent reported.

"I call on the Somali people and the insurgents to attack the African Union troops, who massacred our people," Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur told reporters in the southern Somali city of Baidoa.

UIC spokesman Abdirahim Issa Adow said the peacekeepers have violated their mandate, adding that "more brutal attacks on civilians will not be tolerated."

AU peacekeepers on Monday for the second time in a week opened fire on civilians after coming under attack by insurgents.

However, AMISOM spokesman Major Barigiye Bohuku refuted the claims, saying that the forces only responded to insurgents attacks.

Uganda, whose troops make up 3,500 of the AMISOM forces, on Tuesday asked its military commander in Somalia, Maj. Francis Okello, to investigate claims that Ugandan troops were involved in the shootout that killed at least 40 civilians.

Ugandan Defense Minister Cryspus Kiyonga told reporters in Kampala that an official report would be released in due course after they finish the investigation.

AMISOM troops, comprised of Ugandan and Burundian soldiers, are deployed in the war-torn country as part of the internationally backed efforts to stabilize the Horn of African country which has been in turmoil for an entire generation.

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