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Fighting Continues in Mogadishu for Sixth Day


Fighting between Ethiopian forces and insurgents rocked the Somali capital, Mogadishu, for the sixth straight day, Monday. Government officials have urged civilians to leave the city, immediately. VOA Correspondent Alisha Ryu has the latest from our East African Bureau in Nairobi.

Witnesses in Mogadishu say it is becoming too dangerous to stay in the city, which is being destroyed by artillery, mortars and tank fire.

Since the latest round of fighting began, Wednesday, more than 200 people are believed to have been killed and hundreds of others wounded.

The interior minister of Somalia's Ethiopian-backed government, Mohamed Mahmud Gama Dhere, says the fighting is strictly between the government and terrorists linked with the al-Qaida terrorist network.

"We believe only al-Qaida is fighting against the government," he said. "According to our estimation, hundreds [are] fighting."

Mogadishu residents disagree, saying there are clan-based insurgents, as well as those who simply oppose the presence of Ethiopian troops on Somali soil.