Somalia fighting kills 17 despite peace pact
(updates toll, adds details)
MOGADISHU, June 18 (Reuters) - Fighting between Islamist-led insurgents and allied Somali-Ethiopian troops has killed at least 17 people, residents said on Wednesday, underlining the lack of impact of a U.N.-brokered peace agreement.
One attack on a troop patrol on Tuesday night prompted return fire towards Mogadishu's SOS hospital, killing three people outside, witnesses said.
Stray bullets from crossfire killed another three in a separate incident about the same time. Mogadishu resident Fatuma Hussein said a mortar landed on her neighbour's house, also on Tuesday night, killing a woman and two children.
Then on Wednesday, two policemen died when their car hit a roadside bomb -- a typical tactic in the insurgents' Iraq-style campaign of hit-and-run attacks, bombs and assassinations.
Staff at Mogadishu's Madina hospital said they took in 76 wounded people in the last 24 hours, of whom six died there.
"The rest are still under treatment," one doctor, Dahi Deere, said from the overcrowded and under-equipped hospital.
Somalia's government and members of an exiled opposition group signed a U.N.-mediated ceasefire in Djibouti earlier this month, but hardline Islamist leaders and insurgents on the ground rejected the pact.
They say they will not talk until thousands of Ethiopian troops backing President Abdullahi Yusuf's government leave the Horn of Africa nation. Somalia has been in near-perpetual conflict since the 1991 toppling of a military dictator. (Reporting by Abdi Sheikh, Ibrahim Mohamed and Abdi Mohamed; Writing by Abdi Sheikh; Editing by Giles Elgood) (For Full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: africa.reuters .com/ )
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