65 killed in fighting in Somalia


At least 15 people were killed when a mortar struck a mosque in the Somali capital in a third day of fierce fighting, witnesses said today.

"I can see 15 bodies of people killed after a mortar hit a mosque," witness Hassan Abdulle told Reuters by telephone. "They wanted to attend the afternoon prayers."

The latest attack comes after clashes between rival Islamist groups killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 150 others over the past three days, witnesses and hospital sources said today.

President Sheikh Sharif's government continues to struggle against a powerful insurgency in Somalia. Hundreds of moderate Islamists loyal to the government and opposition al Shabaab militiamen fought in northern Mogadishu over the weekend.

Residents and hospital sources said 50 people had been killed in the fighting and 181 others wounded.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991 when dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted from power.