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Somali Civilians, Government Troops Reported Killed in Mogadishu

Witnesses in Somalia's capital Mogadishu say several soldiers and civilians were killed Saturday in multiple clashes between Islamist insurgents and government troops.

There were no reports of Islamist fighters dying in the gunbattles.

Details of the fighting, as well as casualty figures, could not be independently confirmed because of ongoing violence in the region.

Insurgents have repeatedly targeted government forces and bases in southern Somalia since the government and allied Ethiopian troops drove the Islamic Courts Union from power more than one year ago.

In recent weeks, Islamist fighters have seized control of several Somali towns. They usually withdraw voluntarily after freeing prisoners.

Fighting between the insurgents and pro-government forces has killed thousands of Somalis during the past 16 months.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.