MOGADISHU, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) — The Somali National Army (SNA) repulsed an attack on one of its bases in Mogadishu early Friday, a government official confirmed.
“At 1:00 a.m., one of our SNA posts was attacked by armed militia,” Information Minister Osman Dubbe said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
“Prior to this attack, we received word that there was an attack imminent on our bases in Mogadishu,” he said. “Our brave soldiers swiftly repulsed these groups.”
Dubbe did not say if there were any casualties as a result of the latest exchange of fire.
In another development on Friday, sources said troops sealed off an area for planned rally in Mogadishu.
However, opposition leaders who have organized the protests accused the government of attacking their positions ahead of the planned rally.
The Council of Presidential Candidates, led by former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his predecessor Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, condemned the incident, saying their positions were attacked by government forces.
Confrontation between security forces and the opposition is expected in the city after opposition leaders vowed to go ahead with the demonstrations to force President Mohamed Farmajo to strike a deal on the electoral process.
The government on Wednesday banned public gatherings across the country to help curb the spread of COVID-19 infections. Enditem