Sunday Jul 17, 201107:09 AM GMT
Clashes leave 19 dead in Somalia
Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:10AM
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Somali government soldiers patrol on foot in Mogadishu's Wardhigley neighborhood, May 14.
Clashes between Somali government troops and al-Shabab fighters have left at least 10 soldiers and nine fighters dead in the south of the capital Mogadishu.

Four huge explosions were heard during the armed encounter as the fighters attacked the Gashandhiga military base, a Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported on Sunday.

Somali military officer Ali Kulmiye Abdi confirmed the casualties in an interview with Press TV.

In Gupta District of south Mogadishu, several mortars also claimed the lives of a number of innocent civilians, the correspondent added.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, the lawless land is one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees in the world.

Thousands of people have lost their lives in the country and more than a million have been displaced over the past three years.

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