23 killed, 200 hurt in Somalia fighting

May 10, 2009 at 7:47 PM

MOGADISHU, Somalia, May 10 (UPI) -- At least 23 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in heavy fighting between Islamic militants and government forces in Somalia, witnesses say.

An unnamed local Somali journalist told CNN Sunday that fierce fighting between the al-Shabaab hard-line Islamic group and soldiers of the transitional government has raged for four days in parts of Mogadishu.

"Government soldiers have been forced out of two strategic positions -- one is the football stadium and it has fallen into hands of al-Shabaab," the journalist said. "And there is a wide anxiety among the city residents that the radical group may take full control of the city."

Unnamed sources told CNN Mogadishu hospitals have seen at least 200 wounded people during the four-day battle.

"We are so busy treating these people and feel overwhelmed by the situation," said Mogadishu Dr. Dahir Mohamed Mohamud, adding that his hospital treated more than 150 people in the past two days.

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