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15 people killed in Somalia clashes

Written by: Staff

MOGADISHU, Mar 22: At least 15 people were killed and 46 wounded when fighting erupted in northern Mogadishu between militias loyal to two powerful businessmen, witnesses and hospital sources said today.

The latest fighting, which followed clashes last month in which at least 20 people were killed, expanded to seaports outside the city as militias of Haji Abukar Omar Addaan andBashir Raghe battled in the northern part of Somalia's capital.

''Fifteen people have been killed both sides. Most of them are militia involved in the fighting,'' Abdi Ali, a spokesman for Raghe's group said.

He said his group had lost six fighters.

Witnesses said the fighting had subsided and was sporadic.

Many people had fled while businesses in the area closed down.

Sources close to the factions said reinforcements were coming in from the powerful Islamic courts for Haji Abukar and local warlords on Bashir Raghe's side. Both declined to comment.

Doctors from Keysaney Hospital in north Mogadishu and Madina Hospital said they had received 46 wounded people with at least three more arriving at private clinics.

Fighting between Somalia's myriad of clans and sub-clans has been common since the ousting of strongman Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 divided up the country into fiefdoms for rival warlords in the nation of 10 million.

Renewed hope for peace came as an interim government formed in 2004 held a parliamentary session in the southern Somali city of Baidoa last month, but it has proven unable to rein in powerful warlords or unify its own fractious members.


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