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17 Mar 2008 16:52
At least nine people were killed and 18 wounded in central Somalia when two clans fought on Monday over land, hospital and local officials said.
The fighting erupted between the Sa’ad and Dir sub-clans over disputed land in Galkaio town in central Somalia, said Bile Mohamud Qabowsade, a government official from Puntland, Somalia’s northern breakaway region.
“We received five bodies and 10 wounded [people],” said Feisal Ise Qondhe, a medical official in a hospital north of Galkaio, adding that four other bodies and eight wounded people were taken to a nearby hospital.
Qabowsade said government forces had been sent to the area and the feuding clans had been urged to reach a ceasefire.
Meanwhile, in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein reiterated his call to government opponents, notably the Islamist militia, for dialogue to end years of turmoil in the Horn of African country.
“No group will be denied the right to negotiate peace,” Hussein told a press conference. “We will talk to everybody regardless of their political affiliations.”
“The shababs [Islamist militia] are part of the Somali people and the government will talk to them in order to end the cycle of violence,” he added.
Several bids to end the Somali violence that erupted after the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre have failed to restore stability.—Sapa-AFP
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