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Mogadishu Quiet, But Some Fighters Deny Groups Signed Truce


The break in violence in Somalia's main city, Mogadishu, has continued for a second day, but some fighters deny reports that the warring factions agreed to a truce on Sunday.

Local people say fighters are still positioned in the Sii-Sii neighborhood, the site of last week's most intense battles that killed at least 150 people - mostly civilians.

For eight days, militias loyal to Mogadishu's Islamic courts battled an alliance of warlords for control of the city in what locals said was the worst fighting in years.

Some militia leaders say they have stopped fighting as long as the other side does the same. But they denied reports that their factions signed a formal peace agreement on Sunday when mediators tried to broker a truce.

Locals say anti-American sentiment in Mogadishu has grown over allegations that the United States is secretly supporting the warlord alliance. American officials have declined to comment on any relationship, but have said that they support the alliance's goal of rooting out terrorism.

Somalia has been lawless for 15 years. Islamic militias say the Islamic courts they support have provided some law and order. But Mogadishu's warlords accuse the Islamic groups of having ties to al Qaida terrorists.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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