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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 15:51 GMT
House blast kills Somalia family
Afgoye bombing
Somalia has seen an upsurge of violence in recent months
Seven people have died in Somalia in a suspected bombing attack on the outskirts of the capital, Mogadishu.

A BBC correspondent says four children were killed in the blast in Afgoye town, where people were seeking safety after escaping the war-torn capital.

Police suspect a bomb may have gone off but investigations are ongoing, said local police chief Aden Obile Ahmed.

Some 40,000 people have fled Mogadishu since February, following increasing violence in the city.

Pacify

Dozens have been killed by insurgents since Ethiopian-backed government forces defeated the Islamists last year.

The BBC's Mohammed Olad in Mogadishu says the seven people killed in the blast were watching television when the explosion occurred inside their house, which was under construction.

They were all from the same family, and had escaped to live with their relatives in Afgoye last month, our reporter said.

Somalia enjoyed a six-month lull in the insecurity that has dogged the country for the past 16 years when the Union of Islamic Courts took power last year.

But violence has escalated in the capital over the last two months.

The interim government blames the violence on the massive number of weapons available in the capital and has announced plans to forcefully disarm residents.

Deputy Defence Minister Salad Ali Jelle has said 4,000 newly trained soldiers will be involved in the exercise and are expected to pacify the city within 30 days.

Some 1,700 Ugandan soldiers have arrived in Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping force.

The AU plans an 8,000-strong force for Somalia but has only raised half of the required number of troops.




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