Six people killed in Somali capital clashes

Rival military groups clashed in Somalia's capital, killing at least six people, witnesses and medical officials said, as the sounds of gunfire and explosions were heard throughout .

The fighting began Sunday afternoon when gunmen loyal to a city warlord, Abduqadir Beebe, attacked gunmen loyal to an Islamic court in northern Mogadishu, injuring 10 people, mostly civilians, said witnesses, who did not want to be identified due to fears for their security.

The fighting has stopped, but some civilians fled their homes to unknown destinations, fearing that fighting could resume.

Witnesses and medical officials, who also spoke anonymously, citing security concerns, said four gunmen were killed in the fighting and two civilians by stray bullets.

Somalia descended into lawlessness when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and then turned on each other.

A transitional government formed in late 2004 after lengthy peace talks in Kenya raised some hope for the Horn of Africa country of 7 million, but its members have been fighting among themselves in recent months.

On Saturday, gunmen clashed in the southwestern region of Bakool, killing at least 12 people and injuring more than 20 when they fought over trees that are used to make charcoal, said Reconciliation Minister Sheikh Aadan Mohamed Deer, reports the AP.

Photo: AFP P.T.

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