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Last Updated: Friday, 10 August 2007, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
Fierce fighting rocks Mogadishu
Injured man waiting on a wooden cart to go to hospital
Civilians are often caught in the crossfire
Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, has been rocked by the sound of fierce fighting during a two-hour gun battle between insurgents and government forces.

A BBC correspondent says the sound of the clashes echoed across the city, leading to widespread fear.

The heavily armed insurgents attacked a military base and a police station with mortars and heavy machine guns. At least three civilians have died.

This is the most serious fighting since a reconciliation conference began.

"We suffered no casualties but a civilian in a nearby house was killed," policeman Mohammed Farah told the AFP news agency.

The conference began last month but is being boycotted by Islamists and elders from Mogadishu's main clan, the Hawiye.

They refuse to take part until Ethiopian troops leave the country.

They helped government forces drive Islamists from power in Mogadishu last December.

Somalia has not had a functioning national government for 16 years.


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