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World Briefing / Somalia

23 dead as rebels fight soldiers

July 05, 2009|Times Wire Reports

At least 23 Somalis, mostly civilians, were killed and more than 50 wounded in the latest clash between government troops and insurgents in Mogadishu, the capital, medics said.

The attack brings the death toll to more than 70 since Wednesday as government troops try to drive insurgents out of their Mogadishu bases.

African Union peacekeepers have warned Islamist insurgents who have been advancing on Somali government positions to back down or face retaliation. The 4,300 Ugandan and Burundian troops have been confined to their bases and are limited to protecting key sites such as the presidential palace, airport and seaport.

Al Qaeda-linked fighters control much of southern and central Somalia, and all but a few blocks of the capital.

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