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In Somalia, clashes kill at least 65, wound 190

CLASHES between rival Islamist groups have killed at least 65 people and wounded more than 190 others in three days of battles in Mogadishu, Somalia, witnesses and hospital sources said yesterday.

The Horn of Africa nation's interim government is struggling with a powerful insurgency in one of the world's most dangerous countries, where fighting since late 2006 has killed thousands and forced more than a million from their homes.

Hundreds of Islamists loyal to the government and opposition al Shabaab militiamen fought with heavy machine guns and mortars in northern Mogadishu over the weekend. "We killed an uncountable number of government fighters and moderate Islamists. Their dead bodies lie in the streets," said Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal, a senior al Shabaab official.

"Now north Mogadishu is under our control. We swept them from five key positions including Mogadishu football stadium."


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