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19 dead in Somalia fighting

By the CNN Wire Staff
Africa Union peacekeepers tanks take up positions during heavy clashes in northern Mogadishu, Somalia.
Africa Union peacekeepers tanks take up positions during heavy clashes in northern Mogadishu, Somalia.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The violence is called a "horrific tragedy"
  • A source describes "fear and chaos in Mogadishu"

(CNN) -- Heavy fighting between Somali militants and African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu, Somalia has left at least 19 people dead and 71 others wounded, according to a local ambulance group.

"What happened today was a horrific tragedy, the shelling was continuous and it was hitting a populated area of Bakara market where people were unwitting, so it was appalling many people lost parts of their body and were screaming," said Ali Musa, director of the amblunce group in Mogadishu.

Musa said his group collected 19 died bodies and 71 people with wounds.

"The fighting started 5:30 a.m. and continued into afternoon so there was absolutely fear and chaos in Mogadishu," he said.

Meanwhile, government spokesman Abdirisaq Mohamed Qeylow claimed that government forces pushed Islamic insurgents out of some areas.

"We have pushed the militants back and our forces have reached Howl Wadag intersection near Bakara Market," said Qeylow.

 
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