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 Al-Shabaab 'close to topple government'

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Abu Hafsa
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PostSubject: Al-Shabaab ''close to topple government''   Thu May 14, 2009 2:57 pm

Somali rebels are close to seizing power as they approach the residence of Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed who is under AU protection.

Militants advanced towards seizing power in recent clashes with pro-government forces, a Press TV correspondent reported on Wednesday.

Peacekeepers with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops took positions around the compound of the presidential palace Villa Somalia.

Several mortars landed in areas near the palace, killing 10 people and injuring 76 others, including children.

More than 130 people were killed with another 300 wounded in the fighting that started more than five days ago, medics say.

However, Special AU Envoy to Somalia, Nicolas Bwakira, said the peacekeepers will defend the government until the end, denying claims that the AU is planning to pull its troops out of the war-torn country.

"We have got enough force and capability to protect the government. Our troops are stationed in the Presidential Palace and they are ready to defend the palace in case of any attack," Bwakira said.

Somali sources have also reported that pro-government forces have started deserting their government after being overpowered by rebels.

RZS/SME/RE

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=94663&sectionid=351020501
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