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Mogadishu fighting kills at least 17 civilians

world Updated: Jul 28, 2010 20:57 IST

AFP
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Clashes in Mogadishu pitting Islamist insurgents against Somali government troops backed by African Union forces have killed at least 17 civilians, medics said on Wednesday.

"The ambulance servicemen collected 10 civilian bodies and 46 others who were injured in the clashes yesterday afternoon," Ali Musa, the head of Mogadishu's ambulance services, told AFP.

Seven others died of their injuries while undergoing treatment at the city's Madina hospital, officials said.

The fighting erupted as African Union leaders agreed Tuesday to boost the bloc's force in Somalia by 4,000 to counter the Islamist insurgents waging a deadly battle to oust the country's transitional government.

The decision came in response to the devastating bomb attacks in Kampala that killed 76 people and claimed by Somalia's Al Qaeda linked Shebab rebels two weeks ahead of the AU summit in the Ugandan capital.

Tuesday's fighting broke out in Mogadishu's Taleh district, with mortar shells fired by rival sides smashing houses and killing civilians.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the relentless clashes for the control of the war riven Mogadishu.