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20 civilians killed in Somali capital

20 civilians killed in Somali capital

At least 20 people were killed Friday after an intense battle between government forces and Islamic insurgents in the Somali capital, medical officials said.
Friday's fighting follows a lull of about two weeks, since scores of civilians were killed in two days of violence in the capital.
Military spokesman Col. Ibrahim Kalmoy said the fighting started when insurgents attacked government soldiers in southern Mogadishu in the Taleh area. He said three soldiers were wounded during the fighting.
"The enemy was forced to disappear," said Kalmoy. African Union troops, deployed in Mogadishu to guard key government installations, backed the government troops during the fighting.
Ali Muse, of Mogadishu's ambulance service, said staff counted at least 15 civilians killed. Dr. Mohamed Yusuf of Medina Hospital said five of the wounded brought to Medina died from their wounds.
Islamic insurgents control much of Mogadishu and have been trying to topple the fragile government for three years.
So far they have not been able to take and hold enough ground for a decisive victory. The government side, on the other hand, only controls a few blocks in Mogadishu and is dependent on the 5,100-strong African Union peacekeeping force.
The Somali capital has been the epicenter of almost never-ending violence in the Horn of Africa nation since the last effective government collapsed in 1991. That year saw warlords overthrow longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turn on each other, plunging Somalia into anarchy and chaos.


Updated : 2021-05-10 14:00 GMT+08:00