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Somali Peace Talks to Open in Djibouti

Somali government officials are set to hold peace talks in Djibouti Saturday with opposition leaders, including exiled Islamist figures.

U.N. envoy to Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah says the face-to-face talks will be attended by seven delegates from each side. He says the talks will be held without what he called "external influence."

The talks are taking place despite continued violence in Somalia. Witnesses in the capital, Mogadishu, say two days of fighting Thursday and Friday have left at least 25 people dead and more than a dozen injured.

Late Thursday, insurgents briefly seized control of a police station in in the Waberi area of southern Mogadishu.

Islamist insurgents have carried out increasingly bold attacks against the Somali government and its Ethiopian allies in recent weeks.

Also Friday, authorities in Somalia's autonomous Puntland region arrested the head of the independent broadcaster, Somalia Broadcasting Corporation. It is not clear why he was detained, however, Somali officials often arrest journalists for their coverage of the fighting between government troops and insurgents.

Earlier this week, Amnesty International accused Ethiopian troops of committing war atrocities in Somalia. The Ethiopian government rejected the allegations and demanded an apology.

Ethiopia has several thousand troops in Somalia to support the transitional government. The government has struggled to assert control over the country in the face of the Islamist-led insurgency and bitter clan rivalries.

An Islamist movement controlled Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia in 2006 before being ousted by the government and Ethiopian forces.