At least 18 people have been killed in clashes between rival factions in southern and central Somalia, and there are reports that Blackwater/Xe mercenaries have entered the country.
A battle broke out between the pro-government Ahlu Sunnah militia and Hizbul Islam fighters in the town of Baladwayne on Sunday and went well into Monday, during which at least 13 people lost their lives, witnesses said.
In addition, five people were killed when Hizbul Islam fighters engaged Al-Shabab fighters in the town of Dhobley near the Kenyan border, Reuters reported.
There are also allegations of US-sponsored bomb plots in the capital.
The bombings will be carried out in order to create a pretext to launch a campaign against Al-Shabab, a spokesman of the group, Sheikh Ali Mohammed Rage, told Reuters.
“We have discovered that US agencies are going to launch suicide bombings in public places in Mogadishu,” he told reporters. “They have tried it in Algeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan… We warn of these disasters. They want to target Bakara Market and mosques, then use that to malign us.”
At a meeting with tribal elders in Mogadishu on Monday, the Al-Shabab spokesman said that mercenaries of the Xe private security firm — formerly known as Blackwater — have arrived in the Somali capital, the Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported on Monday.
Blackwater/Xe mercenaries plan to carry out bombings in Mogadishu in order to accuse Al-Shabab of being the culprits in the attacks, the Al-Shabab spokesman added.
He went on to say that the Blackwater/Xe mercenaries have already recruited many lackeys to help them carry out bombings targeting prominent individuals and innocent civilians.
The Al-Shabab spokesman also told the tribal elders that a system based on Islam should be established in Somalia.