Times Wire Reports

An insurgent attack on a peacekeeping base sparked gun battles that killed at least 24 people, as the undermanned African peacekeeping force tried to maintain the government's tenuous hold on Somalia's battered capital.

Mortar rounds slammed into Mogadishu, causing heavy damage in the Bakara market where traders were setting up their goods. Six people were killed at the market, witnesses said. Ali Muse, the coordinator of Mogadishu's ambulance service, said 18 other bodies had been transported.

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