Mogadishu shelling kills 12 civilians

MOGADISHU - An exchange of heavy mortar fire between African Union forces and Islamist insurgents in Mogadishu left at least 12 civilians dead and scores wounded, it was reported yesterday.

MOGADISHU - An exchange of heavy mortar fire between African Union forces and Islamist insurgents in Mogadishu left at least 12 civilians dead and scores wounded, it was reported yesterday.

The AU peacekeepers fired several mortar shells into northern Mogadishu districts in retaliation for artillery attacks by the rebels late on Sunday.

"Our team collected eight bodies of civilians and 55 others who were injured," said Ali Musa, the head of the war-ravaged city's ambulance service.

Witness Abdulahi Nure said four other civilians were killed and their bodies ripped into pieces by the artillery fire in another neighbourhood.

A police officer said: "They (rebels) fired mortar shells from the civilian populated areas using them as human shields." - Sapa-AFP

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