, MOGADISHU, Mar 16 – Exchanges of heavy artillery fire between Islamist rebels linked to Al-Qaeda and government forces backed by African Union troops killed at least 17 civilians in Mogadishu, medical sources said Wednesday.
Fighting between the Shebab insurgency and government troops erupted Tuesday in the south of the capital.
"The number of casualties we have confirmed so far reaches 17. Eleven of them died late yesterday and six others were killed in the shelling last night," said Mogadishu medical worker Hassan Mohamud.
He added that nearly 30 others had been taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment of wounds sustained in the fighting.
The fighting died down early Wednesday but sporadic artillery fire could still be heard in the capital.