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Nine dead, dozens wounded in Mogadishu fighting

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • At least 9 dead, 53 wounded in Al-Shabaab attack on government positions
  • Fatalities include 3 women, 1 child
  • Radio Shabelle defying Al-Shabaab in broadcasting BBC programs

(CNN) -- Heavy shelling in Somalia's capital city of Mogadishu killed at least nine persons and wounded 53 others after an Islamist group launched at attack on government positions, the director of an ambulance group said Monday.

Ali Musa said the fatalities included three women and a child who were killed by a shell that hit a camp for internally displaced people near Mogadishu's Digfeer Hospital in the south of the city.

The fighting came as members of the Islamist group Al-Shabaab vowed to increase their attacks on the Somali government and the African Union peacekeepers, and as forces from the African Union took up new positions in the city.

The African Union peacekeepers set up a new front base in southwest Mogadishu.

"We want to continue our expansion in the city," said Barigye Ba-Huko, the mission's spokesman.

He said the new base is intended to help secure the safety of civilians in Mogadishu.

In another development, Radio Shabelle in Mogadishu continued defying bans imposed by the Islamists.

The radio station began broadcasting on Sunday BBC programs that Al-Shabaab had banned from being broadcast.