5 die in clashes between Somali govt, rebels | world | Hindustan Times
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5 die in clashes between Somali govt, rebels

world Updated: Jun 16, 2009 14:34 IST

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Witnesses say Somali insurgents attacked a government checkpoint in the capital, sparking a gunbattle that killed at least five people.

Somalia's radical Islamic group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack early on Tuesday. Al-Shabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage says his group seized control of the checkpoint. Mogadishu resident Abdulle Ahmed says he saw five corpses.

Government officials could not be reached for comment. A surge of violence in Somalia's capital since last month has killed about 200 people as insurgents battle the government and its allies. Insurgents want to topple the Western-backed government and install a strict Islamic state.

Somalia has had no effective central government for nearly two decades.