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28 killed in Somalia fighting

  • Story Highlights
  • Clashes between militia groups north of capital kills 12
  • Ethiopian shelling in Mogadishu kills 16, witnesses say
  • Official says he can't verify attacks
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MOGADISHU, Somali (CNN) -- Clashes erupted in Somalia over the weekend, leaving 28 dead in incidents, according to a hospital spokesman and witness accounts.

Heavy fighting between Islamist militia groups in the town of Gureil, 230 miles north of the Somali capital, killed 12 and wounded more than 20, said hospital spokesman Mohammed Hagi Ali.

The two sides shot at each other Saturday, he said, bringing businesses to a standstill and forcing residents to take shelter.

Earlier Friday, witnesses said, mortar shelling by Ethiopian forces in Mogadishu killed at least 16 residents.

"The fighting is so heavy, and a barrage of mortar bombs is hitting many parts in our town, killing people and causing heavy damages of buildings," Mogadishu resident Abas Haji Ali said.

Ahmed Abdul-Salam, Somalia's Ethiopian-backed deputy prime minister, could not verify the attacks.

Ethiopia invaded Somalia two years ago to expel Islamist forces who had conquered Mogadishu.

Journalist Abdinasir Mohamed Guled contributed to this report.

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