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Saturday, 29 December, 2001, 14:28 GMT
Nine killed in Somalia shoot-out

Overnight fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, has left at least nine people dead and 15 others injured.

It is not clear what caused the fighting between local police and heavily armed militiamen loyal to a Mogadishu businessman.

The police commander Colonel Abdi Hassan Awaleh Qeybdid said his officers were attacked by what he called outlawed militiamen intent on creating lawlessness.

Those killed included four police officers, two militiamen and three civilians who were caught in the crossfire.

In recent days, outlawed militias have set about looting public transport buses and private cars. But correspondents say the security situation in the Somali capital has been deteriorating over the past three months, since the transitional government failed to pay salaries to the police, demobilised militias and re-enlisted former military personnel.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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