The Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca militia, which is aligned with President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed’s weak UN-backed administration, attacked Hizbul Islam insurgents in Baladwayne on Sunday and heavy machine gun fire continued Monday.
In a separate conflict, Hizbul Islam fighters fought with members of another guerrilla group, al Shabaab in Dhobley. The al Shabaab is al Qaeda’s proxy in Somalia.
At least 18 people were killed in both conflicts combined — 13 killed in Baladwayne and 5 killed in Dhobley, near the border with Kenya.
Fighting has claimed the lives of more than 21,000 Somalis and driven 1.5 million from their homes since the beggining of 2007.
SOURCE: PRESS TV Blackwater/Xe mercs arrive in Somalia, Al-Shabab says