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36 dead in Somalia violence

Scores have been wounded in three days of fighting in central and southern Somalia, and police and soldiers clash in the north's autonomous Puntland region.

November 02, 2009|Reuters

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA — At least 36 people have been killed and scores wounded in three days of fighting in towns across chaotic Somalia, a local human rights group said Sunday.

Government troops fought rebels in a central town, the two main insurgent forces battled in the south, and police from the autonomous northern Puntland region clashed with soldiers on their border.

In the breakaway northern enclave of Somaliland, a roadside bomb killed a senior army officer and wounded one of his bodyguards, a government official said.

In Mogadishu, the capital, police said even some of the president's bodyguards made off with an escort vehicle and took it to the main weapons market, which is run by insurgents.

"At least 36 people died and 175 others were injured in Mogadishu, Galkayo and in Bakool region in the last three days," said Ali Yasin Gedi of the Elman human rights group.

Western nations worry that the longer anarchy reigns in the African nation, the more entrenched hard-line rebels accused of links to Al Qaeda will become. They fear Somalia could then be used as a base to wreak havoc in the region and beyond.

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