21 People Killed in Clashes in Somali Capital

By: Mohamed Olad Hassan & Mohamed Sheikh Nor - AP Writers
By: Mohamed Olad Hassan & Mohamed Sheikh Nor - AP Writers

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - Fighting between the Somali government and Islamist insurgents killed 21 people in the Somali capital on Monday, said medical workers and witnesses.

Fourteen people were killed in the north of the city near the
main market in the capital, said head of Mogadishu's ambulance
service, Ali Muse.

Resident Abdi Mohamed Aden said insurgents had shelled a
military ceremony in the capital and then government forces had
returned fire at insurgents operating from residential areas.

The president, the prime minister, the parliament speaker, the
country's chief of staff, the police chief and other senior
government officials were attending the ceremony during the

A mortar killed a student and injured six others near the
airport, said eyewitness Haji Dahir Igale.

"The first explosion targeted the convoy, killing two
government soldiers, afterward local residents and some other
government officials rushed to the scene to help the injured as
they gathered the second explosion went off, killing four civilians
and five others were injured," said resident Hussein Abdulahi.

The weak U.N.-backed Somali government is battling an Islamist
insurgency. The impoverished Horn of Africa country has not had a
functioning government for nearly 20 years.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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