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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

At least 140 killed in Mogadishu battle--hospital

MOGADISHU, July 11 (Reuters) - At least 140 people were killed in two days of fighting in the Somali capital which ended after one of the city's last holdout warlords surrendered to Islamist militias, a hospital official said on Tuesday.

"Approximately 140 people have died and 150 were injured. It was a very heavy exchange with most of the people dying outside hospital," Ali Moallim, a senior administrator at Mogadishu's Madina hospital, told Reuters.

Moallim said casualties from the two days of fighting, which started on Sunday and ended late on Monday when militia loyal to warlord Abdi Awale Qaybdiid began surrendering, would probably rise as many had not yet been taken to hospital.

The fighting pitted Islamist militias who control most of Mogadishu against gunmen backing Qaybdiid, a member of a routed alliance of U.S.-backed warlords, and those of Hussein Aideed, a warlord and deputy prime minister in the interim government.
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