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World Briefing / Somalia

Dozens killed in Mogadishu

July 13, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Islamic insurgents made their way toward the presidential palace in fighting that killed dozens and wounded about 150, officials said. African Union peacekeepers intervened to support Somali government forces.

Several bodies and two AU tanks were seen on the front line. Government forces fired back with rocket-propelled grenades and antiaircraft guns mounted on the back of trucks.

"The fighting in Mogadishu has entered a new phase," said Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the rebel group Shabab, which is believed to have links to Al Qaeda. Shabab denies any ties.

"Now it's between us and the AMISOM," he said, referring to the AU force's acronym.

At the Medina Hospital, Duniya Ali Mohammed said most of the wounded were women and children and that hospital workers had not slept for the last 24 hours.

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