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Two Killed in Latest Violence at Mogadishu Market


At least two people, including a Somali government soldier, have been killed in the latest violence at a Mogadishu market.

Witnesses say attackers threw grenades at government troops patrolling the Bakara market Wednesday. The troops responded by firing indiscriminately. When calm was restored, a soldier and at least one civilian were dead.

This is the third straight day of deadly clashes at the market between soldiers and anti-government insurgents.

Also Wednesday, the African Union extended its peacekeeping mission to Somalia for another six months. The 1,600 Ugandan peacekeepers have done little to quell violence raging in the capital.

The AU's decision comes one day before a conference aimed at restoring peace to Somalia is due to resume.

The government adjourned the national reconciliation conference on Sunday after many delegates did not show up and mortar shells exploded near the conference site.

Islamist insurgents have threatened to kill anyone who attends the meeting.

Ethiopia helped the interim Somali government push the Islamists from power in Mogadishu and nearby cities late last year.

The interim government has invited more than 1,000 delegates to the conference in hopes of ending the country's persistent chaos and conflict. Somalia has not had an effective government since 1991.

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

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