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Somalian Town Rocked by Kidnapping, Clashes

A Somali government soldier takes aim during clashes with Islamist insurgents in southern Mogadishu's Taleh neighborhood, Somalia, 15 Oct 2010

Somali gunmen have targeted aid workers near the Ethiopian border, kidnapping two men before fierce clashes broke out between two rival sects.

The British-based charity Save the Children says a British national and a Somali man working for the group were taken from a guesthouse in the town of Adado Thursday, near the border with Ethiopia. Several reports say the Somali man was later released unharmed.

Negotiations to free the British aid worker are under way. It is not clear who the kidnappers are.

Meanwhile, officials in Adado report heavy fighting between rival sects. Officials and witnesses say fighters from the Sufi Ahlu Sunna group attacked militants with the al-Shabab group.

Al-Shabab and another insurgent group, Hizbul Islam, are trying to topple Somalia's U.N.-backed government.

Save the Children said its workers were looking into the possibility of setting up a program to help sick and malnourished children in Adado.

Kidnappings for money are common in the impoverished region.

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