broke out after an elder was shot to death in a Somali town,
with factions attacking each other with assault rifles and
rocket-propelled grenades, witnesses said Wednesday.
seven people were killed and 15 wounded during the fighting
Tuesday in Belet Huen, 215 miles north of the capital Mogadishu,
the witnesses said by telephone on condition they not be named.
an elder of the Hawadleh group was shot dead by two militiamen
from the Jajeleh group. Immediately after the killing, the
Hawadleh retaliated and hundreds of men from both groups engaged
in heavy fighting.
Huen is a divided city, with the Hawadleh controlling the
east and the Jajeleh and Galje'el groups controlling the western
part of the town.
River acts as a natural boundary, and the heaviest battles
took place near the town's main bridges as each side attempted
to destroy the other's strongholds.
traditionally allies of the Jajeleh, were also reported to
be involved in the fighting.
caused local businesses to close, and some of the casualties
were civilians caught in cross fire, the witnesses said. There
were no immediate reports of fighting Wednesday, but the town's
shops and businesses remained closed.
has had no central government since the collapse of dictator
Mohamed Siad Barre's rule in 1991.
Barre was ousted by clan-based factions that then turned on
each other, dragging the country into chaos