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Seven dead in Mogadishu clashes

MOGADISHU, May 10 – At least seven civilians were killed in clashes on Saturday between Islamist fighters backing the Somali government and a hardline Islamist group, officials and witnesses said.

Ten people were also wounded in the fighting in Mogadishu’s northern Yaqshid district.

"The Islamist militia from Hizb al-Islamiya group provoked pro-government Islamic forces and heavy fighting erupted killing around five people," Abdi Mohamed, a police officer, told AFP.

Witnesses said they saw bodies of two civilians at another location.

"I saw the bodies of two civilians near Fagah junction. Seven others were injured in a teashop after a mortar shell struck the building," said witness Abdullahi Dhubow.

On Thursday, at least four people were killed and dozens wounded in clashes between the pro-government forces and another group of Islamist fighters.

An senior official at Mogadishu’s Medina hospital said around 120 people had been taken in for treatment in the past three days.

Hardline Islamist militia in the capital have in recent days intensified attacks against government targets.

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Some Islamist fighters have joined the government of Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, a moderate Islamist leader elected president in January.

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