Eighteen killed by factional fighting in south Somalia
"Eleven RRA (Rahanwein Resistant Army) fighters and one from the TNG (Transitional National Government) were killed in the fighting which took place Sunday in southern Wanlaweyn district," Information Minister Zakaria Mohamud Haji Abdi told a news conference here.
Six other people died in the fighting late on Saturday, he said.
Abdi said the RRA, which is opposed to the TNG, had been planning to attack areas controlled by the transitional government in the southern region during the past two weeks.
"The RRA is fighting with plans laid down by Ethiopian military advisors in the town of Baidoa", said Abdi.
"There are four Ethiopian officers who were advising the RRA to carry out attacks on the Somali people in the south," he added.
"The TNG will not tolerate attacks waged by a foreign-manipulated organisation against our people," said Abdi.
Addis Ababa has previously denied TNG's repeated accusations that it was undermining the new government in Mogadishu and backing armed opposition groups, including the RRA.
Copyright (c) 2001 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 05/27/2001 11:32:04
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