12 people die in fighting in Somalia's capital

AP News
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Posted: May 18, 2011 12:35 PM
12 people die in fighting in Somalia's capital

A medical official in Somalia says at least 12 people died after artillery shells hit the largest market in the capital, Mogadishu.

Ali Muse, the head of Mogadishu's ambulance service, said Wednesday that more than 60 people were also wounded when the shells pounded Bakara market.

Somali civilians have borne the brunt of their country's decades-long conflict and human rights groups accuse warring sides of not paying enough attention to civilian safety.

Government forces backed by African Union peacekeepers have been fighting Islamist insurgents near the market since last week.

The fighting is part of a government-led offensive aimed at ending the militants' grip on large swathes of the country.

Somalia has been mired in violence since 1991.