Twenty killed in fighting in Somalia

September 24th, 2008 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Mogadishu, Sep 24 (Xinhua) Twenty civilians were killed and 33 wounded in heavy artillery exchange between insurgents and African Union (AU) peacekeepers here, witnesses and hospital sources said Wednesday.Witnesses in Hawlwadag, Hodon and K4 areas said a number of mortar and artillery shells landed in local neighbourhoods after insurgents attacked the bases of AU peacekeepers, who then retaliated with heavy artillery.

“Five people died in a house near ours when artillery shell hit their house overnight,” a witness said.

Fifteen other were reportedly killed by the shelling in neighbourhoods in south Mogadishu where insurgents have been attacking AU peacekeepers for the third day running.

Hospital sources say that 33 wounded civilians were admitted in the hospitals after being wounded by the shelling.

Sources said that many people died of blood loss as the wounded could not be taken to the hospital in time.

Nearly 2,600 AU peacekeeping troops from Uganda and Burundi are currently deployed in Mogadishu. The troops are part of a UN authorized 8,000-strong AU peacekeeping force in Somalia.

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