13 DIE IN CLASH BETWEEN SOMALI POLICE, SOLDIERS

MOGADISHU - Fighting between Somali government troops and police has killed at least 13 people and injured 14 in Mogadishu after soldiers tried to rob civilians, police said yesterday.

MOGADISHU - Fighting between Somali government troops and police has killed at least 13 people and injured 14 in Mogadishu after soldiers tried to rob civilians, police said yesterday.

The clash occurred on Saturday in Hamarjajab district, in the south of the capital.

"The clashes came after some of the government troops started to rob a civilian car and the police were trying to stop it," said a police officer.

The clash resulted in the deaths of nine soldiers and four civilians who were caught in the crossfire.

Ten civilians were wounded and one of them later died, said Ali Muse Abdi, the coordinator of ambulance services in Mogadishu.

Somalia has had no effective central government for 19 years and Western efforts to install one to steer the country back to stability have been hampered by an insurgency by al-Qaeda-linked al- Shabaab insurgents and another smaller group, Hizbul Islam.

The transitional federal government controls only a few blocks of Mogadishu with the help of African Union peacekeepers.

Elsewhere, al-Shabaab regained control of Baladwayne from Hizbul Islam. - Reuters

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