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At Least Seven Dead in Somalia Violence


Witnesses in Somalia's capital say a landmine explosion has killed at least five government security personnel.

The witnesses say the mine went off under a government vehicle as it drove through northern Mogadishu Wednesday. At least one person survived the blast.

Meanwhile, an explosion outside the Somali capital has killed two people and wounded at least 12. Witnesses say the blast in the town of Afgoi was caused by an assailant who threw a grenade in a busy market.

Wednesday's explosions follow heavy fighting in Mogadishu between insurgents and pro-government forces. A Somali human rights group says the fighting Monday and Tuesday killed at least 31 people and wounded 60 others.

Mogadishu has endured almost daily violence since December, when the government ousted a rival Islamist movement from power in the city, with the help of Ethiopian troops.

Thousands of people have died in the fighting, while tens of thousands of others have fled to safer areas.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. A national peace conference organized by the government has shown no sign of reconciling the country's many clans and factions.

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