At least seven killed in fighting in Somalia

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At least seven people were killed in fighting between soldiers from two semi-autonomous regions of Somalia, Reuters reports officials from both sides to say, sparkling fears of a wider conflict.

The clashes are reported to have erupted on Saturday as soldiers from Puntland battled those from Galmadug over a disputed area spanning their border.

The two sides clashed in the town of Galkayo which is divided between clan militias loyal to the different regions.

“We lost three soldiers and 11 others were injured. We burned three vehicles belonging to Puntland,” Hirsi Yusuf Barre, the mayor of Galkayo south said, accusing soldiers from Puntland of launching attacks first on Saturday.

Major Mohamed Ibrahim, a military officer in Puntland, said four soldiers were killed on their side and seven others were injured.

Somalia has been dogged by civil war for more than 25 years, and clashes between the clan-based militias who control much of the country are common.

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