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At Least 29 Killed in Mogadishu Fighting

Witnesses in Somalia's capital say heavy exchanges of mortar fire have killed at least 29 people and wounded 60.

Mogadishu residents say the fighting began late Sunday when Islamist insurgents shelled two African Union peacekeeping bases, drawing return fire from the troops.

Some mortars landed in residential areas, killing at least 10 civilians, including a woman and her five children.

Insurgents later fired on the city's main airport after a plane landed in defiance of a ban imposed by the militant al-Shabab group.

Somali government forces responded with mortar fire directed at the busy Barkara market area. Witnesses there report 19 deaths.

The government in the past has accused insurgents of using the market as a base.

The fighting in Somalia has intensified despite efforts by the United Nations to broker a peace agreement.

Islamist fighters are trying to topple the Somali interim government and drive out Ethiopian troops that support it.

The Elman Human Rights Organization said last week that the fighting has killed nearly 95-hundred Somalis since the start of the insurgency early last year. The group says that number includes 838 civilians killed since June.

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