Gun fights between Somali government troops and armed groups in the capital Mogadishu has killed 20 people, including more than a dozen civilians, officials said on Saturday.
The clashes took place after al Shabaab fighters attacked a government military base in Dharkenley district, south of the capital on Friday. The fighting was over by the end of the day.
"We pushed them back and killed 13 of al Shabaab's fighters. We are still at our bases," Abdiazis Ali, a senior Somali military officer, told Reuters.
"Four of our troops died and there are also a few injuries."
Al Shabaab confirmed the offensive without giving details of any toll. It said the attack was part of their plan to seize the rest of Mogadishu.
Fighting in Somalia has killed at least 21,000 people since the start of 2007 and driven another 1.5 million from their homes, triggering one of the world's worst humanitarian emergencies.
"We have (a) record of three civilian deaths and 11 wounded in yesterday's fighting," Ali Yasin Gedi, deputy chairman of the Elman peace and human rights grou, said on Saturday.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 19 Haziran 2010, 14:26