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World Briefing / Somalia

13 reportedly killed in crossfire

September 29, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Mortar rounds and missiles pounded parts of the Somali capital, reportedly killing at least 13 civilians in two battles between Islamic militiamen and the African Union peacekeeping force, witnesses and officials said.

In the first battle, heavily armed Islamist insurgents attacked a Burundian contingent of the force based at a former military academy in southwestern Mogadishu. Witnesses said eight civilians were killed.

A Somali government spokesman confirmed that the battle took place but did not give any details. An AU peacekeeping force spokesman also confirmed the fighting.

Later, residents reported missiles pounding Mogadishu's main market and said they were fired from an AU base nearby. Witnesses said they saw at least five civilians killed. The spokesman said the AU was firing to protect a cargo ship docking at the port.

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