17 killed in overnight battles in Somalia

June 18, 2009 09:41

Islamic insurgents and government forces pounded each other with mortar rounds in overnight battles in Somalia's capital, killing at least 17 people, witnesses said Thursday. The overnight fighting raises the death toll of Wednesday's fighting to at least 34, making it the worst single day's fighting in the capital, Mogadishu, since mid-May. Ali Muse, of one of Mogadishu's ambulance services, said they had delivered more than 100 wounded to hospitals. Muse said the wounded included children, women and elderly people. As the two sides battled for control of a police station in northern Mogadishu, some of the ensuing heavy shelling hit people emerging from Wednesday evening prayers at a mosque in the area, said Mohamud Daban Turyare, a resident in the area. Another resident, Halima Gedi, described the scene as "horrific," saying walls nearby were bloodstained.

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