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Published:April 21st, 2008 09:46 EST
Clerics among 10 bodies found in Mogadishu

Clerics among 10 bodies found in Mogadishu

By SOP newswire

The bodies of at least 10 people have been found around a mosque in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, following two days of heavy fighting, and several of them are believed to be clerics.

A local human rights group says the fighting Saturday and Sunday between Islamist insurgents and government-backed Ethiopian troops have left a total of 81 people dead. They say another 119 people have been wounded.

Also, Monday, police arrested an editor with the Shabelle radio station. A police official told Reuters news agency the editor is accused of airing false information about the fighting.

Somali officials have often accused private radio stations of siding with the insurgents.

Sunday, Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein expressed regret for Somalis who are forced to flee the violence, but he said his interim government and its Ethiopian allies have the right to self-defense.

The Somali government has the backing of Ethiopian troops, who in 2006 helped drive a militant Islamist movement from power in southern Somalia.

Fighting between the insurgents and pro-government forces has killed thousands of Somalis during the past 16 months. The conflict has intensified the country's already dire humanitarian crisis.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.