Rival clans fought with mortars, machine guns and antitank weapons on the streets of Mogadishu, killing more than 20 people and wounding 48 others Friday.
It was the heaviest fighting in Mogadishu since the United Nations withdrew its peacekeepers and civilian staff in early March after a failed, two-year effort to restore order.
The fighting erupted around midday and continued as night fell, rocking the seaside city with the sound of exploding mortar rounds and antitank shells.
The battle centered in a neighborhood known as Bermuda, but stray shells fell in widely scattered parts of the city of about 1 million people.
One stray mortar shell fell in the Bakara market, killing two bystanders and bringing business to a halt in Mogadishu’s commercial center for the first time in two months.