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Factions Clash in Southern Somalia

More than a dozen people were killed Monday when rival factions fought in the southern Somali town of Baidoa.

According to Somali government figures, at least 15 people were killed and more than 20 were injured Monday during clashes between the rival factions.

Somali prime minister spokesman Abdirahman Dinari says fighting erupted Thursday morning in Baidoa between two factions within the Raharahwein Resistance Army that controls the Bay and Bakol regions.

"As the government, we are very sorry and really, we don't want to start new fighting in Somalia," he said. "We would call both sides to solve their problems and sitting together and discuss and make a dialogue."

Media reports indicate that the groups fought over whether to locate Somalia's capital temporarily to Baidoa or to Mogadishu.

Mr. Dinari denies that the fighting was about the location of the capital, but says there had been violence in Baidoa leading up to Monday's clashes and that it was an internal struggle within the group.

The location of Somalia's capital is a sore subject among members of the country's new transitional government.

Members of parliament are split on the issue. Many want to go to Baidoa temporarily because they say it is safer there, while a sizable portion of the members of parliament are already in the traditional capital Mogadishu.

The members of parliament in Mogadishu say they have set up programs and arrangements to make the city safer.