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Fighting Kills At Least 13 in Central Somalia


Somali government forces run in a street during skirmishes with insurgents from the al-Qaida aligned terrorist group Al-Shabaab in the Wardigley neighborhood in Mogadishu, Somalia (File)

Somali government forces run in a street during skirmishes with insurgents from the al-Qaida aligned terrorist group Al-Shabaab in the Wardigley neighborhood in Mogadishu, Somalia (File)

Witnesses in central Somalia say at least 13 people have been killed in fighting between Islamist insurgents and a pro-government militia.

The fighting broke out Saturday when government-allied Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jama attacked al-Shabab insurgents in the village of Wardhumale. Reports from the scene say the clashes continued into Sunday.

Both sides have claimed victory in the battle. There has been no independent confirmation of the outcome or the casualties.

Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jama, a moderate Islamist group, signed an agreement with the Somali government in March to jointly fight the more radical al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam groups.

Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jama later complained that it had not received the Cabinet posts it was promised in the deal.

Al-Shabab is trying to topple the government and turn Somalia into a strict Islamic state.

The Horn of Africa country has endured two decades of violence and lawlessness since the fall of the last functioning central government in 1991.

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

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