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Militants say they control Somali port

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Islamic militants said Saturday they had seized control of Somalia's third largest city after three days of fighting that left about 70 people dead and saw thousands flee Kismayo.

The Islamic courts movement, which controlled the capital, Mogadishu, and much of the country's southern region for six months in 2006, said it wrested control of the southern port city of Kismayo from clan militias.

About 70 people were killed during the fighting which started Wednesday and 170 were wounded, said Dr. Ali Hassan of Kismayo Hospital.

Nicole Engelbrecht, a spokeswoman with the International Committee of the Red Cross, said Saturday another 135 people were reportedly injured in fighting in Afmadow, 70 miles northwest of Kismayo.

The ICRC delivered two tons of medical supplies to Kismayo Hospital Saturday, she said.

In a separate development, two foreign journalists — a Canadian woman and an Australian man — were kidnapped while traveling near Mogadishu on Saturday, Somali government officials said.

Militants say they control Somali port 08/23/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 1:48pm]
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