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30 people killed in Mogadishu fighting

By Xinhua,

Mogadishu : Nearly 30 people were killed and many more wounded Monday when the African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces opened fired on a minibus in the Somalian capital, an official said.

“The forces (AU peacekeepers) came under a roadside bomb attack and one of their vehicles was hit, but unfortunately they opened fire indiscriminately at the civilians, killing 30 and wounding many more,” Abdelfatah Ibrahim Shaweey, deputy mayor of Mogadishu, said.

Hospital officials said around 14 civilians were admitted in the Medina hospital, while nine bodies were brought to the hospital morgue for identification. Some of the injured were also rushed to other hospitals.

The incident took place in southern Mogadishu near a base of the AU forces.

Ba-Hoku Barigye, spokesman for the AU mission in Somalia, however denied that his forces were responsible for the killing of civilians, saying that the peacekeepers only responded to the intense firing from the gunmen after the blast.

The spokesman said one of the troops sustained minor gunshot wounds, adding that only four civilians have died in the incident.

Currently, there are around 3,400 AU troops stationed in the war-torn country. The soldiers are part of the 8,000-strong UN peacekeeping contingent in Somalia.