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Somali troops kill 5 in Bakara Market -witnesses

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

MOGADISHU, July 9 (Reuters) Somali soldiers searching for arms in Mogadishu's sprawling Bakara Market killed at least five people when they opened fire after hand grenades were thrown at their patrol, witnesses said today.

Dozens of other people were wounded in the incident late yesterday, which was the third day of attacks in Bakara, famed as one of the world's biggest open-air arms markets.

''Yesterday five civilians were shot dead by the troops. Two dozen others were wounded. They (the troops) were shooting people on sight,'' said one shopkeeper who asked not to be named.

A Somali interim government source said they were aware of the incident but did not have details.

''The cabinet is meeting over the violence and other national issues,'' the government source said on condition of anonymity.

Police bosses could not immediately be reached for comment.

The interim government is struggling to stamp its authority on Mogadishu since it wrestled the capital from an Islamist group early this year with the help of the Ethiopian military.

The government says Bakara Market is a hideout for insurgents, including remnants of the Islamist movement, who have increasingly adopted Iraq-style guerrilla tactics including assassinations, roadside blasts and suicide bombings.

REUTERS SV BD1632

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