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25 dead in 2 days in Somalia, witnesses say

world Updated: Jul 03, 2009 01:16 IST

AP
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Fighting in the Somali capital has killed 25 people over two days, leaving corpses in the streets of a city where a bloody insurgency is intensifying, doctors and witnesses said on Thursday.

The fighting in Mogadishu started late on Wednesday and continued on Thursday in residential areas. Yesterday, at least 10 people were killed and 40 wounded. Thursday's fighting killed about 15 people and wounded 30, hospitals reported.

The government and rebels who want to install an Islamic state in the east African country blame each other for instigating the violence.

"The fighting is intensifying and the government soldiers seems to be retreating," said Ahmednuur Osman, a local resident.

"Insurgents are shouting 'God is great' and trying to advance toward Parliament's meeting hall."
Somalia has not had an effective government since 1991 when the overthrow of a dictatorship plunged the country into chaos. The vacuum has also allowed pirates to operate freely around Somalia's 1,900-mile (3,060-kilometer) coastline.

Over the past two months, Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed's government has come under heavy attacks from insurgents who have pounded government positions with mortars and targeting senior officials in suicide attacks.