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Over 200 Killed in Somalia Fighting

A Somali human rights group says five days of heavy fighting in the capital, Mogadishu, has left more than 200 people dead.

The Elman Human Rights Organization says at least 47 people died Sunday, mostly civilians. The group's chairman says the figures are based on reports from residents, hospitals and other humanitarian groups.

Corpses lay in the open and explosions shook Mogadishu Sunday during a fifth day of fighting between insurgents and Ethiopian troops backing Somalia's interim government.

Residents say the real death toll is likely still higher, as the number of soldiers killed is not known.

The fighting prompted more Mogadishu residents to flee the city for safer areas.

Somali interim Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi said Saturday the fighting will continue until Islamist insurgents are defeated.

He also denied reports that Somali and Ethiopian troops are fighting clan-based militiamen in Mogadishu, insisting the battle is only against al-Qaida-linked terrorists.

Ethiopian troops helped Somalia's interim government drive a rival Islamist movement from power in Mogadishu late last year. Insurgents began attacking government and Ethiopian targets soon thereafter. The violence has prompted hundreds of thousands of Mogadishu residents to flee the capital, with many forced to stay in makeshift camps and shelters.

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