Mil­i­tants and troops clash; 21 die

Los Angeles Times - - 9• 24•10 -

Heavy fight­ing be­tween Is­lamic mil­i­tants and pro­gov­ern­ment troops raged in sev­eral parts of So­ma­lia’s cap­i­tal, killing at least 21 peo­ple and wound­ing 78, an of­fi­cial said.

Mor­tar shells pounded north­ern and south­ern neigh­bor­hoods in Mo­gadishu as mil­i­tants launched attacks with rocket-pro­pelled grenades and ma­chine guns, ac­cord­ing to a wit­ness.

In Mo­gadishu’s south, govern­ment sol­diers and African Union peace­keep­ers tried to push in­sur­gents back from a strate­gic road of­ten used by govern­ment of­fi­cials.

So­ma­lia’s most dan­ger­ous mil­i­tant group, Shabab, has launched a se­ries of attacks over the last month af­ter declar­ing a “new” war against the govern­ment. There are 7,100 African Union peace­keep­ers sta­tioned in Mo­gadishu that pro­tect the small en­clave where the weak, United Na­tions-backed govern­ment op­er­ates.

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