LISBON, Portugal -- A fierce battle between government forces and rebels fighting for control of Guinea-Bissau's capital has killed 35 people and wounded 220, aid workers said Tuesday.

U.N. World Food Program spokesman Wagdi Othman said residents in the capital, Bissau, told him they counted the dead and wounded at city's main hospital. They said the casualties were a result of fighting that began Sunday in the West African country.Most of the dead and injured were civilians, Othman said by telephone from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where he was in contact with aid workers in Guinea-Bissau.

"The fighting is continuing today, though it's not as heavy as yesterday," Othman said, adding that the streets of the capital were deserted after thousands fled.

"A lot of people are also sheltering in churches in the city. It seems they had no chance to leave," he said.

A ship carrying 200 refugees lost engine power shortly after leaving the port of Bissau, running aground on a sand bank, the Portuguese news agency Lusa said. The stranded refugees waited Tuesday in hopes a passing ship would pull them free.

Othman said 97 people were holed up in the Brazilian Embassy. An embassy official had asked the WFP for food, but the fighting blocked transfer of supplies.

The fighting appeared to mark the disintegration of a November peace accord that had halted a five-month civil war in the former Portuguese colony.