Mogadishu clashes kill 17

MOGADISHU (AFP) - Clashes pitting Somali government forces and their African Union allies against rebels for control of Mogadishu's main market left at least 17 civilians dead on Thursday, officials said.Many of the victims died when stray artillery fire hit a bus station. "At least 17 civilian dead have been counted so far and nine of them were killed after artillery fire struck a bus station near Arafat hospital," Ali Muse, head of the Mogadishu ambulance service, told AFP. "Another 46 civilians were injured and the death toll could rise," he said. Tension has been building around Bakara market, long a stronghold of Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab rebels, for the past 10 days and the vast majority of traders moved their wares out several days ago.

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