Somali clashes kill at least 22 in Mogadishu

Fighting erupted between opposition rebels, government forces and African Union peacekeepers in Somalia's capital Mogadishu.

Somali clashes kill at least 22 in Mogadishu

Fighting erupted between opposition rebels, government forces and African Union (AU) peacekeepers in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least 22 people, witnesses and medical staff said.

Battles broke out around the city's strategic K4 junction after the insurgents launched a pre-dawn attack on an AU base and on government troops. Witnesses said the clashes spread to three other districts and that most of the dead were civilians.

The toll was expected to increase as the fighting continued through the morning.

Fearful residents cowered in their homes as mortar shells detonated around them and bullets tore into walls.

"We have seen 17 dead people and taken 40 others to hospitals," senior ambulance official Ali Musa told Reuters.

A business leader in the Mogadishu's sprawling Bakara Market said a further five people had died there when a mortar shell hit a busy restaurant.

Reuters
Last Mod: 21 Ağustos 2009, 12:50
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