At least 75 killed in 3 days of fighting in Somalia | india | Hindustan Times
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At least 75 killed in 3 days of fighting in Somalia

Rival militia battled for control of part of the Somali capital for a third straight day.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 04:41 IST

Rival militia battled with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and assault rifles for control of part of the Somali capital for a third straight day. Fighting has killed at least 75 people and wounded more than 100, according to medical workers.

Radical Islamic militiamen will observe a cease-fire from last night in response to pleas from civilians hit by the violence and members of civil society organizations, Islamic Court Union chairman Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said.

His secular rivals, however, were suspicious of the plan and leaders were planning to discuss whether to accept the cease-fire offer.

"The Islamists have ran out of ammunition, so they want to get breathing space for mobilization and rearming their militia," said Hussein Gutaale, spokesman of the secular militias.

Medical workers in five hospitals have confirmed that at least 75 people have been killed since fighting began Sunday and more than 100 others have been wounded, according to a joint statement.

Militia commanders, witnesses and hospital officials had said earlier that the fighting killed at least 84 people - 22 on Tuesday, nine others overnight, 35 on Monday and 18 on Sunday.

Somalia has had no effective central government since 1991, when warlords ousted longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on each other - carving this nation of an estimated 8 million people into a patchwork of anarchic, clan-based fiefdoms.